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Tuesday, 17 September, 2002, 21:04 GMT 22:04 UK
Majority of Catholics 'back police reform'
A new BBC poll suggests three quarters of Catholics support recent police reforms in Northern Ireland compared to less than half of Protestants.

The poll, carried out in the last week, asked more than 500 local people their opinions on crime and policing in Northern Ireland.

The opinion poll was commissioned for BBC's Cracking Crime Day.

In a section of support for Northern Ireland policing reforms in the past two years, 55% of all respondents gave their support with 75% of Catholics and 43% of Protestants giving their backing.

Just under 40% of Protestants opposed the package, with just 12% of Catholics questioned declaring opposition.

Crime day

When asked if reforms meant police were more or less effective at tackling crime, 21% of people said "more effective".

That support was from only 15% of Protestants and 32% of Catholics.

On Wednesday, the BBC's Cracking Crime day will be focusing on crime throughout the United Kingdom.

Tom Constantine: Overseeing reforms
Tom Constantine: Overseeing reforms

Earlier this month, Police Oversight Commissioner Tom Constantine warned that rising crime and sectarian street violence could wreck a major programme of police reforms in Northern Ireland.

Mr Constantine issued his warning after months of rioting in Belfast which has stretched security resources.

Mr Constantine is overseeing reforms following the changeover from the Royal Ulster Constabulary to the Police Service of Northern Ireland last November.

In his fifth report, the oversight commissioner said the support of the entire community would be needed if the major changes were to be achieved.

Sinn Fein is the only one of Northern Ireland's four main parties which has refused to accept Northern Ireland's new policing arrangements.

It has refused to take the two seats it is entitled to on the board, saying the reforms do not go far enough to satisfy the concerns of republicans.

The Policing Board came into being in November when the Royal Ulster Constabulary became the new Police Service of Northern Ireland as part of the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.


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10 Sep 02 | N Ireland
10 Sep 02 | N Ireland
29 Aug 02 | N Ireland
16 Oct 01 | N Ireland
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