Proposed changes to neighbourhood policing mean the number of officers available to cover Dromore and its rural hinterland will actually increase as part of a new local policing team.
That’s according to the PSNI’s Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon District Commander, Superintendent David Moore, who met in Banbridge on Friday with a DUP delegation led by Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson.
Mr Donaldson, Lagan Valley MLA Brenda Hale and Dromore councillor, Alderman Paul Rankin, met Mr Moore to discuss concerns about proposed changes to neighbourhood policing in Dromore.
“With the previous closure of Dromore Police Station,” said Mr Donaldson, “it is vital the PSNI continues to provide adequate cover for the town and surrounding rural communities such as Kinallen and Waringsford.
“Whilst the neighbourhood policing team is being relocated to Lurgan, Superintendent Moore explained that the number of officers available to cover the area will actually increase, with the creation of a new local policing team.
“We were told that within these new arrangements, specific police officers will be allocated to cover the Dromore district and they will maintain contact with local community organisations and key stakeholders.”
Mrs Hale, meanwhile, quizzed the police chief on the future deployment of local part-time reserve officers, who had covered the Dromore area for many years, she said, and acquired invaluable local knowledge. “I welcomed the assurance offered by Superintendent Moore,” she said, “that he recognised the benefit of retaining this vital policing resource and is therefore proposing to retain a part-time reserve team based in Banbridge in order to cover the locality and utilise their vast local experience.”
In a joint statement Mr Donaldson and Mrs Hale pledged to work closely with local community organisations “to achieve improved communication and co-operation from the PSNI under these new arrangements”.
They added, “Whilst these changes are subject to final approval by senior command, as elected representatives we will continue to keep a close watch on the new policing arrangements to ensure that the local communities in Dromore, Kinallen and Waringsford do not suffer a reduction in either neighbourhood or response policing and that incidents of criminal or anti-social activity are properly dealt with.”