Devolving policing and justice powers

Another Belfast Telegraph poll, this time on the issue of the devolution of policing and justice powers. Despite the headline on the report, the interesting figures are in the breakdown of when those powers should be devolved – 43% overall said “criminal justice and policing should be devolved to a local Assembly when there is sufficient confidence in local communities”, while “only 19% overall supported the formal transfer of powers to the local administration by the Governments’ target date of May next year” – I’d suggest they mean as a deadline. Oh, and 14% replied ‘never’.From the Belfast Telegraph

A total of 43% overall said criminal justice and policing should be devolved to a local Assembly when there is sufficient confidence in local communities.

And that scenario was supported by 46% of Protestants and 39% of Catholics questioned on the issue.

In an Ipsos MORI poll for this newspaper in March, a majority – 58% – were in favour of policing and justice powers being devolved, with just over a third opposing.

That figure is now rising – with 73% overall in favour.

However, only 19% overall supported the formal transfer of powers to the local administration by the Governments’ target date of May next year, contained in the St Andrews Agreement.

The official deadline has the support of just 17% of Protestants and 21% of Catholics (29% of Sinn Fein supporters and 24% SDLP).

A total of 19% of Protestants – and only 6% of Catholics – say policing and justice should never be devolved to the Stormont regime.

Half of DUP supporters and 45% of Ulster Unionist supporters say responsibility should be devolved when there is enough public confidence – against 39% of Sinn Finn supporters and 35% of SDLP supporters.