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Devolution key to community policing, says PSNI chief

The devolution of policing and justice is key to delivering “personal, professional and protective” policing, Chief Constable Matt Baggott has said on his first visit to Derry.

Mr Baggott yesterday met with over 100 business leaders at an event arranged by Londonderry Chamber of Commerce.

He said that the current economic climate was giving the PSNI the chance to re-organise and focus on its priorities for the future.

He said: “The current financial situation is one that affects us all, be it in the private or public sector.

“However, the challenges faced by the Police Service of Northern Ireland provide us with an opportunity to re-prioritise what we are aiming to achieve as a service, with a focus upon what matters to local communities.

“This will, of course, involve building upon the legacy of Patten, but preparing for a future in a devolved environment.”

He added: “I believe the devolution of policing and justice is a key development as we strive to deliver a personal, professional and protective policing service to the people of Northern Ireland.”

Jim Sammon, the President of Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile said that having a local Minister for Policing and Justice “could create a deeper acceptance that laws to protect people are our laws”.

He also told the Chief Constable that the Chamber “supports you and your officers in delivering good and effective policing”.

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