Belfast Telegraph

DUP hails 'open and constructive discussion' on policing

A DUP delegation led by party leader Arlene Foster MLA met with the new PSNI boss Simon Byrne yesterday to discuss a range of policing priorities moving forward
A DUP delegation led by party leader Arlene Foster MLA met with the new PSNI boss Simon Byrne yesterday to discuss a range of policing priorities moving forward

By Staff Reporter

People want to see the PSNI take action against both loyalist and republican paramilitaries, the DUP has said after its first official meeting with the new Chief Constable.

A DUP delegation led by party leader Arlene Foster MLA met with the new PSNI boss Simon Byrne yesterday to discuss a range of policing priorities moving forward.

Speaking afterwards, Mrs Foster said it had been an "open and constructive discussion with the Chief Constable in relation to challenges facing policing in Northern Ireland".

She added: "Mr Byrne has taken up office at a critical time for public confidence.

"The threat from dissident republicans persists and a viable device was placed on a parade route in Belfast on July 12.

"Both this threat, wider paramilitarism and organised crime all require a robust operational response. These plus new and emerging threats all mean there is a need to prioritise future funding and ensure officer numbers are at a level high enough to ensure the best possible outcomes."

East Belfast MLA Joanne Bunting welcomed Mr Byrne's recent commitment to tackling the scourge of paramilitary activity.

"Whilst comments from the police in relation to loyalist paramilitaries have received prominence, in recent weeks there have also been masked republicans and weapons on the streets at funerals," she said.

"The PSNI must follow through with the determination we heard outlined today as the public want to see action taken against all these groups."

Also in attendance were DUP Policing Board members Mervyn Storey, Keith Buchanan, Joanne Bunting and Gary Middleton.

Mr Byrne met with Sinn Fein last week.

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