30/03/2010

Border Policing Gets Priority

Enhanced levels of cross-border co-operation are expected to aid the fight against the threat from dissident republicans.

Police on both sides of the border are to step up joint activities with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and An Garda Siochana agreeing what has been described as "a series of protocols that will increase joint working on investigations".

PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott (pictured) has said that the development will see more routine and faster transfer of evidence between the services, improved communication channels for officers and the ability to bring more prosecutions against individuals for crimes committed in the neighbouring jurisdiction.

"Our relationship with the Garda operationally is second to none and we have plans to take to both governments in future to improve that further," said Mr Baggott.
News Image
"We have got a joint piece of work at the moment looking at improving our co-operation even more," he said, while carefully emphasising that while "we are policing Ireland as an entity", it is "without breaching sovereignty".

Mr Baggott said the agreement would enable more joint policing to thwart cross-border human trafficking and smuggling.

There has also been a dramatic fall in the number of bank ATM ram-raid robberies which plagued both sides of the Irish border in 2009, with just one taking place this year in NI so far, in the border area, at Crossmaglen.

Meanwhile, the Chief Constable is facing separate criticism over plans to 'disband' the PSNI's Historical Enquiries Team (HET).

Matt Baggott has said a line has to be drawn under the work of the HET within the next three years, but NI Victims' Commissioner Patricia MacBride has said that is unacceptable and she is now seeking a meeting.

The specialist police team was set up in 2005 to re-examine 3,269 murders from the Troubles.

It was estimated that the team would need six years to complete the task. However, work has yet to begin on more than 1,300 cases.

See: Cops 'Foil ATM Robbers'

(BMcC/GK)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

26 November 2021
Other News In Brief
£650,000 Fund To Provide Food And Heating Vouchers Belfast City Council has backed a Sinn Féin proposal to provide £650,000 fund to provide food and heating vouchers to support thousands of families across the city.
19 January 2005
NI pay-as-you-go mobiles hit by cross-border charges
Pay-as-you-go mobile phone users in Northern Ireland could be paying up to six times the charges incurred by customers on a contract when ringing from the Republic of Ireland.
25 November 2021
PSNI Officers And Staff Sign White Ribbon Pledge
The PSNI has signed the White Ribbon pledge, as part of an international campaign to end violence against women and girls. Police officers and police staff have signed the pledge on White Ribbon Day (25 November), which kick-starts 16 days of action to end violence against women and girls (VAWG).
30 November 2001
Minister highlights importance of cross border co-operation
Junior minister in the Executive Dermot Nesbitt has stressed the benefits of north-south co-operation at a key event staged in County Louth.
26 November 2021
New Cross-Border Economic Growth Partnership Established
A new cross-border partnership established to foster economic growth between Belfast and Dublin, a key strategic route, has announced its inaugural political leadership team.