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Friday, 28 June, 2002, 06:10 GMT 07:10 UK
Police blame rioting for rise in NI crime
Policing changes were part of sweeping reforms
Policing changes were part of sweeping reforms
A rise in ordinary crime is being blamed on the drain sectarian rioting places on police resources in the first report of the new Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Due to be published on Friday, the report is is expected to show a 16% increase in crime.

It is also believed to show the overall clearance rate on crime has dropped by 7% to 20%.

Colin Cramphorn
Colin Cramphorn: Releasing report
The report is to be released by Acting Chief Constable Colin Cramphorn.

He is expected to blame the impact of riots and public order situations and a reduction in the number of police officers on the figures.

The RUC became the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) last November, when the first recruits to the newly renamed service began training.

The changes to policing came as part of sweeping reforms to the service under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement peace accord.

The then PSNI Chief Constable, Sir Ronnie Flanagan, admitted making the police service more representative of the whole community would take up to 10 years.

Non-political

The new trainees were recruited on a 50:50 Catholic-Protestant basis and recruitment will continue under this quota system.

In April, the first group of 44 recruits trained specifically for the PSNI graduated.

The service is overseen by the Policing Board, which replaced the Police Authority.

The 19-member board has 10 members drawn from the Ulster Unionist Party, Democratic Unionist Party and the nationalist SDLP. Sinn Fein has refused to take its seats.

The remaining nine members, including the chairman, are non-political.

Research and consultation

New uniforms have been introduced, as well as a new crest and service flag introduced as part of wholesale changes to policing in the province.

The programme of sweeping changes to policing in Northern Ireland was begun following a report from Chris Patten's policing commission, which made more than 175 recommendations.

The uniform carries the service's new badge
The uniform carries the service's new badge

The commission was set up under the Good Friday Agreement.

Following the changeover to the PSNI, the new uniform was developed after one of the most extensive programmes of research and consultation ever undertaken.

The emblem features a Saint Patrick's Cross surrounded by six symbols - a harp, crown, shamrock, laurel leaf, torch and scales of justice.

Five uniforms have been developed for different operational duties.

The recladding of the whole service is costing 4.5m.

Policing legislation in the province states that police emblems and stations are to be politically and religiously neutral.

Read BBC News Online's full special report on policing reform in Northern Ireland

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05 Apr 02 | N Ireland
27 Mar 02 | N Ireland
27 Mar 02 | N Ireland
12 Sep 01 | N Ireland
04 Nov 01 | N Ireland
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