Moyle Policing and Community Safety Partnership has been left reeling after a second resignation since its inception in 2012. Phillip Mc Keown, an Independent and former Vice Chair of the District Policing Partnership, tendered his resignation from the new body last week. To date he has given no reason for the decision. He follows in the footsteps of Councillor Padraig Mc Shane who resigned from the new body a fortnight after it was set up.
Councillor Padraig Mc Shane stated;
“I initially agreed to join the new body with a view to positively shape local Policing but after an induction meeting it became apparent that the new body had no intention and much less remit to bringing about change. The area commander was forceful in her opinion at that meeting, the new body would not be holding the Police to account and if anything, the Justice ACT 2011 would in effect provide the opportunity to reverse the tables on the community sector.“Policing within the community as a concept has failed, not only in the North but also in places as diverse as Manchester, Liverpool and London. It became apparent that attendance fees and mileage claims were of the utmost importance while holding the Police to account locally was far down the list of many members considerations.”
Members of the local Policing and Community Partnerships receive sixty pounds a meeting for a maximum of twenty meetings a year plus expenses.
The Independent Councillor finished by saying;
“It is wrong to attempt to mislead the public in relation to the success of local Policing Partnerships. Clearly there are problems given the latest developments. Furthermore public interest has manifested itself in the lack of members of the public attending meetings. Only two people attended the latest public meeting of the local Partnership. This trend is replicated right across the North with a meeting in South Belfast being cancelled due to no members of the public turning up.”
The Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (PCSPs) were established in April 2012 as new statutory bodies as an enactment of The Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2011. The PCSPs bring together in one partnership the functions and responsibilities of the former District Policing Partnerships (DPPs) and Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs).
It is claimed the PCSPs were to build on the most useful and effective aspects of each of the previous two partnerships, while operating in a more streamlined and joined up way.
The Moyle PCSP is made up of eight Councillors and seven Independent members of the community sector. Councillors are appointed on the basis of electoral success.