Inspector responds to SF criticism of Larne policing

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a LARNE police inspector has reaffirmed the force’s dedication to reduce all forms of criminality in the wake of comments made by Sinn Fein MLA Oliver McMullan that the PSNI is “powerless” to deal with the “mob rule” that he claims exists in the town.

In response to Mr McMullan’s criticism of policing in the Larne area, Inspector Noel Rogan emphasised the police service’s determination and success in tackling crime.

The Larne neighbourhood inspector said: “As a police service, we welcome engagement and feedback from the local community regarding the issues of concern that matter most to them. The various forums that police engage with allow the public to interact with police and highlight these issues, whilst proving an opportunity for police to report back on what they have done.

“Larne has seen a significant reduction in crime over the last year and is currently experiencing the lowest reported crime in 10 years, with almost a seven per cent reduction on last year’s figures. Police have carried out over 300 arrests and charged 139 people with various offences and will continue to bring those committing criminal offences before the courts.

“There is also a greater emphasis on agricultural-crime in the rural area, with advice surgeries organised and trailer marking events ongoing. This is in addition to the latest new Neighbourhood Watch schemes created through local Neighbourhood Officers working with members of the community.

“The number of recorded crimes has decreased, and although this is encouraging, police are determined to reduce this figure further and to keep the people of Larne safe. Officers continue to have an excellent relationship with the local community and police will continue to keep the people of Larne safe from crime. Police are playing an active role in the recently formed Larne Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP).

“Over £70,000 worth of illegal substances has been seized during almost 30 operations to tackle the issue of drugs. Almost 20 people have been arrested for drug related offences, and we hope this figure continues to increase. Not only do drugs put money into the hands of criminals, but it also ruins lives and destroys communities. Officers are determined to further reduce the availability of drugs in Larne.

Larne has also benefited from the relocation of 22 Roads Policing Officers to the borough. This highly-trained team will provide a very welcome increase in police visibility as they carry out work within the Larne area and outside the Borough. Road safety will be enhanced by this development, especially along a busy A8 in terms of freight movement and along the coastal route. Since their introduction 28 detections of no insurance have been made with several incidents being detected within the Larne borough area.

“Inward investment to the local economy is vital, as it brings employment and growth to the local community. It is the responsibility for all to make Larne an attractive place for new business, and police play a significant part in this. If there are concerns within the Larne business community, police would welcome an opportunity to engage and address these issues. Neighbourhood and Response officers provide a high visible police presence in the area and this has contributed to an 11.3 per cent decrease in the number of antisocial behaviour incidents. Officers are always keen to talk with members of the local community in order to deal with issues of concern.

“Larne remains a safe place to live, work and socialise and it is the continued support from the local community towards police that helps to maintain this environment. Police are determined to provide a personal, professional and protective service for all and to reaffirm our dedication to reduce all forms of criminality in Larne,” said Inspector Rogan