Page last updated at 15:49 GMT, Wednesday, 12 August 2009 16:49 UK

Reaction to Baggott appointment

Matt Baggott has been appointed as chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Here is a selection of quotes following his appointment.


Matt Baggott
Matt Baggott was appointed following a 90-minute interview

"I am absolutely delighted to have been given this opportunity to lead the PSNI and serve the community as chief constable.

"The PSNI has come through a significant change programme and I look forward to using my experience to build on the progress to date in the delivery of a professional policing service to all the people of Northern Ireland.

"It's going to be a huge privilege - I'm going to work with an incredibly effective team and obviously build on Sir Hugh Orde's legacy.

"I'm looking forward to bringing my expertise in leading on neighbourhood policing and policing with the community to the PSNI.

Barry Gilligan
Barry Gilligan said Matt Baggot has an impressive track record.

"Matt Baggott has an impressive track record and in leading the PSNI forward his policing experiences will bring a new perspective to the delivery of the policing service here.

"Whilst a significant change programme has been progressed over the last number of years, policing does not stand still and there are new challenges ahead.

"This is an important time for policing with the devolution of policing and justice on the cards. Funding of course is a central part of these discussions and as a Board we are very aware of the current and future pressures facing policing.

"There is a need to continue to make sure that available resources are used to best effect in service delivery. Central to this is continuing to build relationships and partnerships with the community to reduce crime and make our communities safer."


"It is extremely important to note the decision, the first appointment of a chief constable by a full representative Policing Board, was unanimous; and I have no doubt that having the full support of the board will give the new chief constable a strong platform from which to build on Sir Hugh's success.

"I wish Matt every success. I am sure he will meet the significant challenges and opportunities ahead in continuing to provide the people of Northern Ireland with an outstanding police service."

Alex Maskey
Alex Maskey said Matt Baggot is committed to Patten reforms.

"Certainly he convinced myself as he did all the other members of the panel yesterday that he is very sensitive to how to police in a diverse society.

"He will be under no illusions as he will have had to do his homework in terms of what the policing environment here is, what is has been and where is needs to be.

"He has said himself that he wants to bring the PSNI forward now on the rest of the journey.

"He knows that there is a process of change - the Patten requirements are there, they are still not fully delivered and he is committed to delivering on all of that.


"There are a number of challenges which Mr. Baggott will face immediately and we would urge him to work with the community in addressing these matters.

"There are clear concerns about resources in the PSNI, particularly in the face of a dissident threat, we want to work with the chief constable to tackle these issues and ensure that Northern Ireland has the highest quality of policing.

"We have already assured the incoming chief constable that any deal to devolve policing powers to Stormont can only be considered when a suitable financial package is in place to support policing in the Province."


"His appointment by the Policing Board highlights the progress policing here has made, however we must not be complacent and we must recognise the difficult job he is embarking on.

"Over recent months there has been an increasingly sinister and active dissident republican presence on the streets of Northern Ireland and I look forward to addressing this particular issue.

"Domestic burglary and serious violent crime are also on the increase - I eagerly await examining these policing problems with him.

"In his previous roles he has built up a vast amount of experience particularly in community policing - I look forward to developing this further in Northern Ireland."


Jim Allister
Jim Allister said he will judge Matt Baggott on his performance.

"Though coming to office with the blessing of Sinn Fein/IRA is far from a good recommendation, I will judge the new chief constable on his performance.

"I trust he will prove less of a political chief constable than his predecessor, who at the Government's behest overplayed the 'normalisation' game; denuding the PSNI of a terrorist-fighting capacity and adequate intelligence gathering facilities, making it easier of the IRA to return to murder.

"I would call on the new chief constable to reverse Orde's dangerous policy of wholesale removal of personal protection weapons from former members of the security forces".

"Orde was a Government linchpin in the politicisation of policing in Northern Ireland.

"I trust his replacement will be an improvement".


"He will face a very challenging policing agenda ranging from further normalising the delivery of policing here to dealing with the remaining terrorist threat, all within the context of a tightening policing budget.

"I think we can take great encouragement from the record and commitment of the new chief constable as regards policing within the community.

"The greatest demand from people in Northern Ireland is for a shift in resources to focus on providing more frontline and visible policing."

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