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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 10 September, 2002, 06:37 GMT 07:37 UK
Policing Board hears crime concerns
The Northern Ireland Policing board
Sinn Fein does not sit on the Policing Board
Concerns about crime levels and the numbers of police officers on patrol have been voiced at a public meeting of the Northern Ireland Policing Board.

The board is inviting members of the public to join District Policing Partnerships which will help to shape local priorities and monitor performance.

About 60 people attended a meeting on Monday night to find out more about the partnerships, which are being set up in all 26 council areas.

Sinn Fein has said it will not sit on the new partnerships until the Patten recommendations were fully implemented.

Work

Concern was expressed at the meeting about the levels of crime in the Carrickfergus area of County Antrim.

"We have vandalism, we have burglaries, we have older people frightened - quite a number of them frightened in their homes in the evenings," said one man.

"I think the DPPs are a good idea if they work, but it does seem that the younger generation are not adequately represented," said one woman.

The board admits there is "no quick fix" to the problems facing policing, but it hopes the District Policing Partnerships will have a role to play in finding solutions.

Last Friday, a major campaign to recruit independent members to the partnerships was launched.

As well as locally elected representatives, up to nine other people will sit on each of the 29 consultative bodies.

Interviews

Belfast will have four boards and each of the 25 other district council areas will have one each.

They will operate as sub-committees of the councils, advising on policing priorities and holding police commanders in their areas to account.

They are expected to be up and running by early next year.

People will have the chance to submit applications from 23 September and short listing and interviews will take place between then and November.

Sinn Fein is the only one of Northern Ireland's four main parties which has refused to accept Northern Ireland's new policing arrangements following the changeover from the Royal Ulster Constabulary to the Police Service of Northern Ireland last November.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's Julian Fowler:
"The policing board admit there is no quick fix to the problems facing the police service"
Read BBC News Online's full special report on policing reform in Northern Ireland

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OTHER SPECIAL REPORTS
See also:

29 Aug 02 | N Ireland
16 Oct 01 | N Ireland
21 Aug 02 | N Ireland
30 May 02 | N Ireland
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