A Sinn Féin meeting with senior South Down PSNI represenatives was helpful.
Sinn Féin’s Chris Hazzard MP has said this a recent meeting with local PSNI leadership was a “constructive and positive” engagement.
The South Down MP, Cllr Cathy Mason (Slieve Croob)and Cllr Oonagh Hanlon (Downpatrick) met with PSNI senior management from the South Down area including Superintendent Jane Humphries.
Mr Hazzard said: “Sinn Fein representatives regularly engage with local PSNI officers to discuss local incidents and community safety issues.
“However, we felt it was important to meet with PSNI leadership in the South Down area to discuss what we consider to be a number of serious failings and weaknesses in effective community policing in recent months.
“We had a frank and honest conversation on a range of issues – but fundamentally at the heart of our engagement was the need to re-establish confidence in local community policing.
“All too often in recent months it has become apparent to our representatives on the ground throughout South Down that confidence in the PSNI to effectively deal with anti-social and criminal elements in society is not where it should be.
“I am encouraged that the PSNI acknowledged this problem, and have today committed to working to improve this fundamental relationship with the community.
“Proactive policing operations and effective communication with victims and the community at large is the hallmark of good, community policing.
“It is what the community expect and deserve. I look forward to continuing this engagement with the PSNI in the months ahead, and hope that a constructive exchange of views today can help kickstart a fresh approach.
Downpatrick Cllr Oonagh Hanlon added: “I want to thank Superintendent Jane Humphries for engaging honestly and constructively with us today.
“It was a very worthwhile meeting and I have no doubt the PSNI will now be reflecting on a number of issues that need to dealt with locally to restore community confidence.”