North Down policing panel falls short
The Northern Ireland Policing Board has unveiled the makeup of the new Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (PCSPs) - and is appealing for more people to apply for the North Down panel.
Board Chair Brian Rea said: "The Independent Members appointed by the Board will have an important job to do and it is really encouraging that so many people from across all sections of the community stepped forward to take up this challenge.
"Work within the new Partnerships can now begin in earnest and both the political and independent members serving on the PCSPs have an opportunity to deliver a new and much more joined up approach to policing and community safety issues."
Justice Minister, David Ford MLA said: "Interest in these positions was high, with 600 applications received across all Council areas. This demonstrates the level of commitment people have to making their community safer."
Whilst the response was generally positive there were four areas - including Castlereagh and North Down - where the pool of people was not sufficient for the full complement of appointments in line with the code of practice. Mr Rea explained: "There were a small number of posts where the Board could not make the necessary appointments and plans are in place to reopen the application process in these areas."
He encouraged people in those areas to apply to become independent members."
There are 26 PCSPs - one for each of the council areas in Northern Ireland. Belfast will have one overarching PCSP and four District Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (DPCSPs) for North, South, East and West. These new partnerships bring together within a single partnership the functions and responsibilities previously undertaken by District Policing Partnerships (DPPs) and Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs). Contact can be made with the PCSP through local councils.
The make up of the new members across Northern Ireland is:
-amp;#8226; 91 (39%) Catholic background; 123 (53%) Protestant; 18 (8%) none/other. In the 2001 Census 44% of the population was from a Catholic background, 53% Protestant and 3% from another/none.
Gender - 114 (49%) male; 118 (51%) female and as for age profiles:
-amp;#8226; 16 (7%) are aged 16 to 25,
-amp;#8226; 39 (17%) aged 26-40,
-amp;#8226; 122 (60%) aged 41-60,
-amp;#8226; 37 (16%) aged 61 and over.
Furthermore, 29 (13%) are candidates with a disability; 6 (3%) are from ethnic minorities; 3 (1%) are Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender and 96 (41%) declared some form of political party activity.