Page last updated at 11:14 GMT, Tuesday, 30 March 2010 12:14 UK

PSNI to increase public presence

Police officers

The PSNI is to increase the number of officers working in communities by 600 this year, the Policing Board has said.

The target has been set as part of a new three-year policing plan which aims to improve policing in the community.

Board acting chairman Brian Rea said they hoped improving the police's public presence would increase the amount of crime reported by the public

Mr Rea said they hoped to be able to increase the amount of crime reported to the police to 50% by 2011.

"The reporting of crime has been an area of concern for the board," he said.

Policing and Justice Minister Paul Goggins said the decision to devolve policing and justice powers to Northern Ireland would also help strengthen the PSNI's support within the community.

He said: "Linking criminal justice and policing services to the rest of government in Northern Ireland will bring major benefits."

Chief Constable Matt Baggott said the plan reflected the new direction of the PSNI.

"We will address local issues raised by communities to deliver a better quality of service while we continue to deal with serious crime," he added.

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