22/05/2007

Peter Hain announces Policing Board members

Secretary of State Peter Hain has announced the new members of the Policing Board today.

The new 19-member Board comes into effect from today and the membership is made up to 10 MLAs nominated by their respective political parties and the nine independent members appointed by the Secretary of State.

The three new independent members include former Sinn Fein mayor of Derry, Gerry O’hEara and Belfast charity worker Mary McKee.

Former Progressive Unionist Party deputy leader David Rose will replace East Belfast Assembly member Dawn Purvis.

Sir Desmond Rea, Barry Gilligan will return alongside former rugby international Trevor Ringland.

Mr Hain said policing in the province has been strengthened with the constitution of the Policing Board.

He said: “The membership of the new Policing Board will, for the first time, include representatives from all sections of the community in Northern Ireland. This is another significant step forward, reinforcing the new political environment we now enjoy.

“Effective policing has to be informed by the different voices within our communities. The wide variety of background and experience represented by the political and independent members on this new Board will insure that all interests are taken into account.”

He continued: “The Northern Ireland Policing Board has been one of the outstanding success stories of the Belfast Agreement. I would like to pay tribute to all the former members of the Board for the significant contribution they made to policing in Northern Ireland and their considerable courage and personal commitment to the Board and its work.

“I have every confidence that the newly reconstituted Board will continue to take this good work forward.”

(JM/SP)

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