Sinn Fein has accused other parties of having ‘spread fear in the community’ with their reaction to policing changes affecting Banbridge police station.
Both the DUP and UUP had expressed major concerns about the role of the station, with operational policing to be led from Armagh and Lurgan stations.
“Sinn Fein are not fixated on the number of police stations”
Sinn Féin’s John O’Dowd MLA and Deputy Mayor Catherine Seeley met PSNI Superintendent David Moore to discuss changes in how policing was being delivered in Banbridge town and surrounding communities.
Speaking after the meeting Mr O’Dowd said: “We wanted to discuss in detail the changes to policing structures in the Banbridge area.
“There has been much debate in the media about the changes and we wanted to deal in fact rather than speculation or scaremongering.
“Sinn Féin are not fixated on the number of police stations but rather on how policing is delivered on the ground and whether there will be sufficient police officers to keep people safe, detect crime and it is done in an accountable manner.
“We discussed in detail with Superintendent Moore how policing will be delivered to the people of Banbridge town and to its rural hinterlands. He was able to show us his real-time monitoring of policing on the ground and how his officers would continue to provide policing where it mattered; on the ground and in the community rather than from a police station.
“The meeting with Superintendent Moore was very useful and we used the opportunity to emphasise to him that we would be monitoring the situation to ensure that the changes to policing structures did not disadvantage any community including the people of Banbridge, rural and urban. It is irresponsible of some political representatives to spread misinformation or fear in the community following changes to policing structures in the area.
“For our part Sinn Fein will deal in facts and hold policing to account to ensure every community is kept safe .”