November 30, 2023
Rebuilding confidence in policing with the community the number one priority – McDonald

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has said rebuilding trust and confidence in policing with the community must be the number one priority for the new PSNI Chief Constable.

Speaking after a party leadership delegation met with Jon Boutcher today, Mary Lou McDonald said:

“We have just had a wide-ranging meeting with the new Chief Constable on a number of issues.

“We wished Jon Boutcher well in his new role, and we look forward to working with him positively and constructively to ensure that people here have an effective and efficient policing service.

“The huge scale of the task in front of him must not be underestimated and there is clearly a job of work to be done to rebuild trust and confidence in the PSNI and that must be the number one priority.

“That includes rebuilding public confidence in policing with the community, but also rebuilding trust with PSNI officers, staff and their families following the huge data leaks.

“We also raised huge concerns about the PSNI delaying the release of relevant information, which in turn delays inquests and frustrates families who are waiting decades for truth and justice.

“This is most recently exemplified in the Sean Brown case. To date the inquest has not been completed and now, more than 26 years after the killing, 18 new files of sensitive material have just been made available for review. Such delays are corroding wider community confidence.

“This is another defining moment for policing here, much has been done, but there is more to do, and all relevant bodies must work together to ensure that happens.

“This is the time for all of us in political leadership, in the Policing Board and the PSNI to refocus on the task of delivering an efficient and effective policing service that works with and within the whole community impartially.” ENDS/CRÍOCH

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