Hale to register ‘grave concerns’ for future of community policing

LAGAN Valley MLA Brenda Hale plans to write to E District Commander, Chief Superintendent Alasdair Robinson, to voice her “grave concerns” at his decision to formally propose the closure of Dromore Police Station.

“I am deeply disappointed,” she said, “that despite strong community support and letters from myself and other elected representatives, the commander chose to disregard public concerns.”

The DUP MLA said she feared the closure of the local police station and “visible withdrawal” from Dromore, would eventually impact on community policing, and public perception of a community police service would be irrevocably damaged.

Her concerns echoed those expressed at the public consultation meeting in Dromore, where there were some suggestions that if the police station was closed, community policing teams might well be threatened in the next round of cuts to emerge.

Banbridge Area Commander, Chief Inspector Ken Mawhinney, while personally highlighting the value attached to the teams, was unable to say their long-term future was certain.

Mrs. Hale added, “The relationship between the citizens of Dromore and their community officers should be held up as best practice, not seen as an expendable service.

“I will be writing to the district commander to express my grave concerns at this decision.”