Date Published : April 2nd, 2015 Published By : admin
The PSNI’s Cookstown Station will no longer provide a 24 hour service to the local community, as efforts to streamline policing in Mid Ulster have resulted in a number of changes.
Although the exact structure of the PSNI’s new Mid-Ulster District has yet to be determined, officials have decided that current police teams will no longer exist as of Wednesday April 1st. The police teams will instead be replaced by Local Policing Teams (LPTs), and supported by Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPTs) in areas suffering from higher crime levels, deprivation or rural isolation.
Two LPTs currently operate out of existing police stations in Dungannon and Magherafelt and will provide 24-hour cover for the whole Mid-Ulster area.
Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin, said: “The LPTs are an exciting development. They will not just attend calls but will develop a greater sense of ownership of the area and the problems within it. They will build up an enhanced knowledge through engagement with community representatives, local clergy, principals of schools and other key figures.”
In addition to the two LPTs, three NPT’s will also serve mid-Ulster to provide a dedicated extra policing presence, reassurance and commitment to communities where it is most needed. These taems will be based in Coalisland, Clogher and Magherafelt, while the Coalisland team will operate out of Cookstown police station.
The NPT teams are designed to be mobile and will be deployed to areas to deal with critical issues, as needed.
The PSNI has said the changes stem from their mandate to align with new council structures, but have also come about as a result of severe, ongoing budget cuts and decreasing resources. The new LPTs and NPTs will begin functioning in April, although officials have suggested it could take up to six months to have the new model fully in place.
Assistant Chief Constable Martin concluded: “There is still much work to be done around the detail of team sizes, shift patterns and job descriptions, to name but a few challenges. With less money and fewer officers we cannot simply replicate our existing district structures.”