20/02/2004

Security Minister welcomes police training college decision

Security Minister Jane Kennedy has welcomed the Policing Board's decision to locate the new police training college in Cookstown, Co Tyrone.

The new centre will built on a 210-acre site beside a food science centre at Desertcreat on the outskirts of the town and is expected to open in 2007 at a projected cost of about £80m. It replaces the current facilities at Garnerville in Holywood, Co Down.

The Minister said the decision was an important milestone along the way to fulfilling the rcommendation of the Patten Report.

"PSNI officers deserve nothing but the best to meet the demands and pressures of modern day policing and a new purpose-built police college will provide future recruits with the most up-to-date facilities to study and train," she said.

Welcoming the decision, Policing Board Chairman, Professor Desmond Rea added: “The approval of the site is a critical step on the road to making the Police College vision a working reality.

"It was the Board’s job today to consider the recommendations presented by the Police College Project Board and decide if the Desertcreat site was most suitable for delivering a 21st Century police training facility capable of meeting the needs of a 21st Century police service.”

A proposal for the new location was endorsed after the Deputy Chief Constable Paul Leighton, put it to a full meeting of the Policing Board in Belfast.

(MB)

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