“The board has failed the police in relation to this.”

After rejecting the PSNI Chief Constable’s preferred option of employing private security firms, by a “majority view”, members of the Northern Ireland Policing Board can’t have been too surprised by his announced intention to re-deploy 150 frontline officers to guard police stations in the face of the increased threat of attack by republican paramilitaries.

And in related news, four men are being questioned after gardai intercepted a car containing a primed improvised mortar device near Dundalk, county Louth, on Tuesday evening.

Gardai said they were satisfied they had foiled a sortie by the republican dissident terror group Oghlaigh na hEireann. [added link]

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  • alan56

    Seem this is Chief Cons way of putting real pressure on Policing Board to rethink its rejection of using private security staff. People will be furious that front line officers are to become security guards.

  • If we presume that the Chief Constable would not misuse the manpower vailable to him then the measure immediately struck me as signal that guarding police stations has become the front line??

  • Queen’s Student

    But what do these private security guards do. Seems they were pretty useless at Massareene?

  • Rory Carr

    What do they do? Why their employment practically ensures a directorship on the security company’s board for former Chief Constables and pliable politicians.

    Think of it as a form of Help the Aged.

  • Izzy

    alan56, the police already use private security staff at most of their police stations. This has been the situation for years now. Obviously some of the reservists were employed doing security duties, but there seems no reason why their guarding duties can’t be done by members of the private security firm that has the contract for the other stations. The private security guards aren’t armed and they’re certainly not paid police wages, so why not use more of them?

    I honestly can’t see where Matt Baggott is coming from with his talk of having to take so many police officers from front line duties to guard police stations, unless he means the very few where it’s considered necessary to have armed guards. However, if the whole idea of employing as many civilians as possible at police stations is still uppermost, then surely employing armed police as guards is a backward step? I realise the threat from the dissidents can’t be taken lightly, but as has been pointed out already, armed guards don’t necessarily make a base (army or police) any safer.

    Maybe Sinn Fein can solve the problem: I read recently that a SF councillor who served 8 years in prison for supposed IRA membership runs his own security and events firm and provided security for Katie Price when she visited Belfast. I particularly liked this rather ambiguous paragraph on the BBC News website –

    ‘He stood near the model, dressed in pink T-shirt, jeans, fur waistcoat and fluffy boots, as she met hundreds of fans who queued to get her autograph.’

    Er … yes, I think it didn’t quite mean what it seemed to say. lol

    (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-11797797)

    Anyway, just the man to provide security at our police stations; he should have a get-together with Matt Baggott … and maybe discuss uniforms. 🙂

  • Cynic

    Really Rory? Which ones are on which Boards?

  • Doire

    I remember, coming from England, the first time I saw a northern Irish police station. I knew the 6 counties were bad but seriously, it scared the life out of me! Maybe people who live in the north don’t quite understand how absurd their situation is because I have never seen security like that in my life! Still, hasn’t stopped me loving the north. I’m all for a united Ireland as a sinn féin supporter (in england. With two conservative politicians as parents. Think fish out of water!) but the north is definatly the best part.