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Community Policing: DOJ Investment

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 3rd March 2020.

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Photo of Patsy McGlone Patsy McGlone Social Democratic and Labour Party 2:30 pm, 3rd March 2020

T1. Mr McGlone asked the Minister of Justice to outline the investment that she will be able to make in community policing. (AQT 181/17-22)

Photo of Naomi Long Naomi Long Alliance

As the Member is aware, investment in policing and the management of resources in the PSNI is entirely a matter for the Chief Constable. However, like all Departments, I am currently in negotiations with the Finance Minister on the settlement for the coming year. That will include money for policing, which is a large part of my budget. Around 70% of the Department of Justice's budget is spent on policing, but how that is disbursed and spent in the Police Service is entirely a matter for the Chief Constable.

Photo of Patsy McGlone Patsy McGlone Social Democratic and Labour Party

I thank the Minister for her response. Can I seek assurances from the Minister that, through her engagement with the PSNI, the amount of money that she has sought for policing has been, in some way, prioritised to be directed towards community policing?

Photo of Naomi Long Naomi Long Alliance

Again, it is for the Chief Constable to decide on the police's priorities when deploying their resources. Undoubtedly, he is already on record as saying that he places huge emphasis on the need for enhanced community policing and good contact in communities. I imagine that, dependent on resources, that is an area that he will want to expand on, but it will be entirely a matter for him.