Sinn Féin Chairman for Newry and Mourne DPP

I see that Newry Sinn Féin Councillor Brendan Curran has taken up the Chairmanship of Newry and Mourne District Policing Partnership.

As an ex-prisoner and Volunteer of Oglaigh Na hÉireann Brendan's republican bona fides are without question.

This is an important step as the area he will be seeking to represent, Newry and South Armagh, has seen some of the worst abuses of the old RUC.

Brendan will be joined on the local DPP by fellow Sinn Féin Councillors Turlough Murphy, Michael Ruane and Colman Burns.

Brendan said that we are not on the DPP's in order to prop up poor policing.

"The Sinn Féin members on the Newry and Mourne Policing Partnerships will provide the voice for communities who have in the past experienced only bad policing. We want to play a constructive role on those Partnerships but we will not shy away from challenging, or criticising, or questioning policing decisions and policy when the need arises."

"Sinn Féin will not be sitting on the DPPs to prop up ineffective policing. That, in the view of many, is these Partnerships have done in the past. Those days are over, we are determined that Policing with the community will be the core function of the Policing Service."

"For their part the PSNI must indicate a willingness to embrace this opportunity to deliver policing which is democratic, accountable, representative and free from political control."

"Sinn Féin will use their membership of the Partnerships to critically engage with the PSNI in a professional, efficient and constructive manner. We are taking up positions on these Partnerships is clearly significant. There are big challenges for us as we seek to deliver the mandate we have been given. But as with our approach to any issue we will be resolute and we will be determined."

I have complete confidence in Brendan and the other Sinn Féin Councillors who have taken up membership of the DPP. I expect that the cups of tea and biscuit meetings that the cops are used to having with the stoops will come to an end.

This will be a proper, effective and if needs be critical engagement with the cops.

It's time for them to rise to the challenge and do the job they are paid to do!

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