Northern Ireland police resources could focus on community policing

Image copyright Northern Ireland Police Service Image caption The ‘Get Potted’ campaign calls for a re-definition of the family as something beyond ‘marriage’ and ‘kidnapping’

Police resources could be diverted from fighting crime to improving relationships in communities in Northern Ireland, says a coalition of civic leaders and academics.

The campaign group “Get Potted” wants a re-definition of the family as something beyond “marriage” and “kidnapping”.

Police have been accused of under-investing in the voluntary sector in relation to policing, since the 1998 Good Friday agreement.

The BBC has also been told of a project in which police are co-operating with community groups on crime problems in Belfast to combat allegations that they have been causing difficulties for these organisations.

Get Potted launched the campaign on Thursday.

Speaking at the launch of the coalition, consultant professor Paul Green said there was a “rich vein of analysis around the policing funding and focus on community policing and focusing on crime”.

“Many of the researchers and academics would agree that community policing is more than holding hands with the community,” he added.

At the launch, Mr Green highlighted case studies in Northern Ireland and Belfast from 2009 where alternative approaches to policing were being trialled – away from police officers and towards local voluntary bodies and the clergy.

“The idea is the state should not be making decisions about how the public should be funded,” he added.

The coalition, which is in the early stages of developing a policy paper, believes Northern Ireland police can focus their priorities on responding to rather than targeting violent crime.

Leave a Comment