“They’ll deal with anti-social behaviour..”

The announcement by the PSNI of 5 Neighbourhood Policing Teams for south and east Belfast is being seen by Máirtín as evidence that, “As an institutionally sectarian institution, the PSNI has different policing priorities from those it purports to serve in areas like North Belfast.” [Well it is in a separate District – Ed]. More likely conditions on the ground, amongst other factors, are behind the decision..From the Irish Times report

The teams, in the south and east of the city, will seek to provide a more visible deterrent on the streets and have ownership of local ‘beat areas’ and respond to the concerns of communities and businesses in those areas.

Announcing the five B District NPT areas , Community Safety Superintendent Chris Noble said the public’s sense of safety and their confidence in the police were critically important, as was reducing crime and disorder.

He said: “It is important that local residents know who these officers are and how to contact them. Visibility alone is not enough. Communities want accessible, knowledgeable and locally known officers.”

But he added that things worked two ways and the community also had to participate.

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  • cut the bull

    The problem with working with the PSNI is you haqve to expect your credibility to take a kicking.
    The PSNI whose members facilitated and participated in attacks for a period of almost eight months on residents in the Short Strand In 2002.
    The PSNI who had an agent employed by the Special Branch, Denis Donaldson who through his activities helped collapse the Stormont Assembly in 2002.
    The PSNI who had another agent Mark Haddock who is at present serving a sentence for attempting to cut a mans hans off.
    The PSNI who the former Ombudsman has stated was working in collusion with the Mountvernon UVF.
    The same PSNI who had two officers severly reprimanded for attempted to falsify evidence and urging forensic scientists to tell lies and beef up evidential reports during the trial of Sean Hoey in the Omagh bombing case.The PSNI who had a press officer tell journalists that they couldnt ask Detctive Norman Baxter questions in relation to lies being told by detectives at the trial. Journalists were told thats not part of the deal. You are not allowed to ask questions.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Interestingly, three Central NPT officers are sponsored. And I think that Victoria Square already does this.

    I think they should be wear wee uniform logos, like F1 drivers. Maybe shoplifters could be introduced to magistrates thus: This hoodie comes to you courtesy of House of Fraser (or sthg).

    Anyway, I enjoyed this response to Mairtin on his blog:

    The comments re the PSNI are wrong and unfair. South and East Belfast are a separate District (“B” District) from North and West Belfast (which is “A” District), with different District Commanders. Equivalent efforts (e.g. the devotion of significant efforts and resources over the summer to the Divis Hoods so that they themselves said they were happier in prison) have been made, as needed, in North and West Belfast.
    I don’t claim that PSNI is perfect, but ill-informed sweeping statements such as that made above help no-one.

    To claim that PSNI is institutionally sectarian is more of a reflection on outdated attitudes of those who make them than the progressive organisation that I (a Catholic) proudly work for.

    On a related point, more and more of us do live in the areas we police, whether Catholic, Protestant or (most frequently) mixed.

    PSNI is far from perfect, but your biased ignorance may show a hidden agenda.

    Anonymous PSNI officer (because there are those who want to kill us)

    …and to be fair, you can’t walk through Divis without noticing the number of Landrover patrols most days.

  • fair_deal

    “The comments re the PSNI are wrong and unfair. South and East Belfast are a separate District (“B” District) from North and West Belfast (which is “A” District), with different District Commanders.”

    Nice to see someone explaining the new devolved policing structures to Mairtin. Had he not read that section of Patten?

  • Comrade Stalin

    I know that Newtownabbey already has community police teams, so I’m wondering if the PSNI are re-announcing something that already exists, perhaps under a slightly different name ?

  • Hbf

    cut the bull,

    How is any of that relevant?

  • cynic

    Cut the Bull

    Ah yes, but a little selective in the memory Department arent we? Had too good a Christmas? Let me remind you:-

    1 in 2002 the defenceless residents of Short Strand waged a campaign to force the Protestant residents out of Cluan Place. On one day 5 Prods were shot by the poor oppressed Catholics. None of the Catholics were short by Prods. I assume that lots of complaints were made to the Police Ombudsman about this terrible example of police collusion. What were her findings?

    2 Donaldson ‘helped collapse the assembly’ after being caught with thousands of documents stolen from the said Stormont and the NIO by his PIRA associates. This led to hundreds of people having to be warned about PIRA gathering intelligence about them including many Unionist MLA’s. So it was PIRA that did the collapsing by spying, not Donaldson. And don’t forget that we now also know that the whole peace process was being carefully steered throughout by the Securocrats one of whom was even writing speeches for the Great Leader. Whoops, there goes that collusion thing again!

    3 And they had lots of Agents in PIRA too, many of whom saved many lives by informing on their murderous colleagues. One way to stop the need for this would of course have been not to murder anyone in the first place but hey …politics for slow learners.

    4 Which is still under investigation isn’t it

    5 Well, lets see how that one works out because the report on that is due too. So let’s see if they did actually do what you said and if they didn’t perhaps you may like to get your cheque book out.

    PSNI isn’t perfect but then it reflects the society we live in. As do you and me and it was and is all a lot more complex that some of us would let on.

  • cynic

    By the way one of the issues here is the definition. The Macpherson report on the murder of Stephen Lawrence coined the trem ‘institutionally racist’ as meaning:-

    ” such a persistent pattern of prejudice (some of it unconscious) against black citizens”

    On that definition is there really anyone / anything in NI that can’t be described at institutionally sectarian? Just look at most of the posts on Slugger before you answer!

    Personally, I feel I am free of it ….. but its all themuns fault.

  • cut the bull

    I dont see it as selective memory you tube siege of the short strand and watch how the PSNI stood chatting to loyalists as they attacked homes in the Short Strand and your right five protestants were shot and that was wrong.

    Denis Donaldson was employed as an agent by the RUC and the PSNI Special Branch. At the time he was arrested for possesing the documents you refer to he was a PSNI special branch agent. I Believe your are being selective in the points you’re making.

  • cut the bull

    hbf Its relevant because a community needs to be able to trust and have some faith in a police service that is supposed to be there to police effectively.
    I do not believe that the PSNI have that trust mainly because of dirty dealings within the special branch. Remeber this is relevant to both communities as I can remeber David Ervine taking the PSNI to task over its refusal to raid drug dens in the Shankill because special branch agents were running those dens.
    A Minister in the York Rd area also accused the PSNI of failing to raid drug dens in Tigers Bay after the death of Dean Clarke, because those running these dens were working for the PSNI Special Branch.

  • cynic

    Cut the Bull

    “I Believe your are being selective in the points you’re making.”

    ….and you aren’t?

    “At the time he was arrested …….he was a PSNI special branch agent”

    From what we know now so were lots of others as well. So what? That’s how the British won the war. Sorry, and I genuinely don’t mean this offensively, but haven’t you spotted that yet? In retrospect it may not look pretty or nice but it was effective.

  • cut the bull

    pointing out the lack of credibility within the PSNI and in particular the special branch and effects of bad policing onboth Nationalists/Republican and Uninoist/loyalist communities is not being selective

  • cynic

    Rather depends who defines ‘credibility’ doesn’t it? And credibility in what context?

  • Hbf

    cut the bull,

    “Its relevant because a community needs to be able to trust and have some faith in a police service that is supposed to be there to police effectively.”

    I actually totally agree with you about this. But I still don’t see how what you said is important – it just stoked up some of the usual quasi-sectarian bile that can make slugger unreadable at times. The special branch of the police have done a lot of bad things but I would guess that this announcement is more to do with the local circumstances.