Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

DPP meets in Derry for first time since dissident protests

Londonderry's District Policing Partnership will meet in the city for the first time in almost a year after dissident republican protesters forced a number of meetings to be abandoned.

Meetings of the DPP have taken place since, in Eglinton and in Learmount village near Claudy, several miles from the city centre.

The next meeting will be held at the council offices on the Strand Road in the city at 10.30am on Thursday, October 20.

The last time the Derry DPP met in the city was in November 2010 at the Guildhall — but once again protesters brought proceedings to a premature end.

Encouraging the public to attend the meeting, DPP chairman, councillor Thomas Conway, said: “The meetings which the District Policing Partnership holds in public are designed to allow people to attend and voice any concerns either directly to the Area Commander or through a member of the District Policing Partnership.”

October has been designated International Walk to School Month and the DPP meeting will deal specifically with the issue of pedestrian and cyclist safety.

Councillor Conway added: “Many children in the city and district walk or cycle to school and with the time change at the end of the month it is essential that our children are as safe and visible as possible when on the road.

“This meeting will specifically address this topic through presentations by local experts from the police and other relevant agencies.

“It is your partnership, your policing needs and therefore your involvement as a community is vital. The importance of these public meetings cannot be underestimated. Through public participation local people can ensure that the future of local policing is truly theirs.”

Background

Since 2009, several of Derry’s DPP meetings have been disrupted to such an extent by dissident republican protesters that they had to be abandoned completely by the chairman. In July 2009, about 30 protesters threw stink bombs, blew whistles and chanted anti-police slogans at the Tower Hotel meeting. That September up to 50 protesters also blew whistles and chanted slogans at Da Vinci's hotel.

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