Neighbourhood sergeants to return says DUP

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Moves to return neighbourhood sergeants to Lurgan, Banbridge and Lagan River have been welcomed.

DUP MLA Carla Lockhart along side Cllr Paul Greenfield and Cllr Junior McCrum have been liaising with senior police officials over the past number of years regarding the need for a return of the neighbourhood policing team to the three areas.

She pointed out that corporately it was the intention of the previous senior team to reduce the number of neighbourhood sergeants owing to diminishing funds “but recent happenings have highlighted clearly the benefits and the need for a local team engaging and policing the area”.

In a joint statement the three DUP representatives said: “We are delighted with the confirmation that neighbourhood sergeants will take up permanent position again in Banbridge, Lurgan and Lagan River.

“For too long these areas have operated differently to that of Portadown and Craigavon.

“This will align them all to the effective neighbourhood policing model that previously worked. The announcement of the new appointments was made at the monthly Policing and Community Partnership meeting.

“The new Chief Constable is focused on this style of policing and Ms McAllister who is the District Commander has been proactive in adhering to this corporate change in policy. This will certainly improve community relationships and keep people safe in their homes.”

Ms Lockhart added: “This is welcome news and I know that the Banbridge, Lagan River and Lurgan people will be delighted to hear of this significant move regarding policing on their streets. No dates have be outlined in terms of start times however I believe this will happen in the very near future.”