30/10/2003

Policing Board need to engage public more says report

Calls have been made for the Northern Ireland Policing Board to engage itself with the public more fully by improving its public meetings.

The call was made in the lead up to the second anniversary of the establishment of the Policing Board by the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) who have published a 'Commentary on the work of the Northern Ireland Policing Board.

The 50 page report is the first independent review of the work of the Policing Board and contains several recommendations for improving the accountability and transparency of the Board.

CAJ’s Director, Martin O’Brien, said: “The Policing Board has now been in existence for two years and this report assesses its work to date. We found that a great deal had been achieved but that there was also considerable room for improvement.”

Among its other recommendations, the report called on the Policing Board to more actively solicit community input, and conduct as much of its work as possible, including its analysis of police performance, in public, so that the people of Northern Ireland are reassured the Board is holding the police to account.

Mr. O’Brien said the recommendations were designed to ensure greater accountability and improve the transparency of the Policing Board.

The commentary is the first in a series that CAJ plans to publish on the work of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the permanent policing institutions, the Northern Ireland Policing Board, the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, and the District Policing Partnerships.

(MB)

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