The PSNI has launched a Public Protection Unit (PPU) in ‘B’ District, which comprises South and East Belfast.
The unit has been set up to tackle child abuse and domestic abuse; to respond to vulnerable and missing people; and to manage violent and sexual offenders in the community.
‘B’ District Commander, Chief Superintendent George Hamilton, said: “The Public Protection Unit marks a significant boost to services to local communities by providing protection to the most vulnerable people in society.
“It will, for the first time, draw together a team of specially trained police officers, managed at local level to detect, investigate and prevent crimes. An important part of its work will be to identify and share intelligence within a dedicated team. There is clear evidence that there are links between domestic abuse and child abuse.
“The PPU will allow for early intervention and seek to identify links between cases, victims and offenders. They will bring together specialist skills to complete pictures where, in the past, there have been gaps or blind spots. This brings us into line with best practice in England and Wales.”
Chief Superintendent Hamilton said the PPU will work closely with the other main arms of local policing — neighbourhood, response and community safety. It will also engage with a range of bodies in the public, private and voluntary sectors.
“It will do as its name suggests,” he
continued. “It exists to protect some of the most vulnerable people in society. It exists to protect victims. It exists to protect broader communities. By working closely with local people, police in ‘B’ District Public Protection Unit will seek to make local communities safer and feel safer.”