Police have stepped up patrols in the Heights area of Coleraine in a bid to improve relations with the nationalist community following the sectarian murder of Kevin McDaid, the PSNI area commander has said.
Chief Superintendent Alan McCrum admitted there are “some significant challenges” in terms of how the nationalist community in the area view police.
“We are doing all we can to bring those responsible for the murder of Kevin McDaid and attempted murder of Damien Fleming before the courts. We have had some success and that is part of what we need to do to demonstrate we are doing our best to support the families and community,” he said.
Mr McCrum added: “We are also seeking to have our neighbourhood officers deployed there every day in the recognition that there has been damage done to those relationships.
“The only way we can do that is if we can provide sustainable long-term community policing in the Heights.
“The feedback we have received in the aftermath of Kevin’s death has been positive.”
He said he recognises that public confidence “cannot be built up overnight” but insisted police are committed to providing a police service to the people in the Heights area “that will hopefully take away some of the mistrust they have around policing”.
“That has to be a two-way engagement between the community and the police. We can’t resolve all the community’s problems, but we can work with them to try and ensure we don’t have another set of circumstances that we had with Kevin and Damien.”