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Baggott will focus on co-operation with garda

By Deborah McAleese

The future of policing in Northern Ireland under Matt Baggott’s watch will be one of close cooperation |between the PSNI and An Garda Siochana.

Former chief constable Hugh Orde had a good working relationship with the Gards but Mr Baggott is taking it to a completely new level.

In the future it is likely we will see officers from both forces training together, secondments from one force to the other, joint use of intelligence, sharing of technologies and many more joint investigations.

Mr Baggott, formerly chief constable of Leicestershire Police and a chief superintendent at the Met, has come to Northern Ireland from a policing background where cross-border cooperation between forces is normal practice. He has no political baggage and while appreciating the sensitivities surrounding the border issue here and anticipating this developing relationship could ruffle a few feathers, Mr Baggott believes this is the best way forward.

A highly significant move in cooperation between the two forces has already taken place with the secondment of a senior garda officer to the PSNI. Superintendent Paul Moran (46) has been seconded to join the PSNI with full powers, including the right to carry a gun and wear a uniform. Seconding officers across the border was one of a series of measures in an inter-government agreement signed in 2002.

Mr Baggott says that the border does not stop criminals, so why should it hinder police in their job?

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