Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Partnerships 'key to safer society'

Policing and Justice Minister David Ford

Cross-community partnerships are the key to making Northern Ireland safer, the Justice Minister said.

David Ford will on Monday outline how he intends to reshape the justice system.

He will describe the devolution of policing and justice as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape the justice system to build a safer Northern Ireland.

The Alliance Party minister said: "Tomorrow's speech will provide a platform to outline the opportunities that devolution has provided and detail what I intend to do to ensure that we grasp them.

"I will also be making a very strong case for building partnerships to make Northern Ireland safer. These partnerships cannot just be at a political level, they must be across the criminal justice system and across our community."

He said it was part of a process which must deliver.

His department will bring to the Assembly Northern Ireland's first Justice Bill for almost 40 years after the summer recess.

The minister also wants to move forward on issues in the Hillsborough Castle Agreement and others he has identified since taking up office.

He added: "I did not join this Executive because I thought being Justice Minister would be easy, or because no-one else was prepared to take on the job, or because I was the only nominee who could secure the cross-community support that was required.

"I took it on because I was ambitious for our community and ambitious about the opportunities that the devolution of justice presents to make a real difference."

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