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MLA slams policing ‘slap in the face’ to people of Banbridge

There are fears that police in Armagh could be stretched even further to help offer cover as far away as Banbridge.

The PSNI station in Armagh reduced opening hours to 12 – from 8am until 8pm daily – from New Year’s Day.

But changes in Banbridge mean they could have have implications in Armagh.

Ulster Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson is outraged at the Banbridge plans.

The Upper Bann Assembly Member, along with ABC councillor Glenn Barr, met with Supt David Moore at Banbridge PSNI Station in February and, after a briefing secured an Adjournment Debate at the Assembly where all speakers joined in opposing the proposals.

“This is a slap in the face to the people of Banbridge and the surrounding area,” said the MLA.

“I remain angry that following that debate no one from the Justice Department or PSNI has even bothered to attempt to address the concerns of democratically elected representatives – this is either monumental arrogance or institutional ignorance.

“People and businesses in Banbridge pay their taxes just like every other large town and the removal of policing teams is a step too far!

“I have requested an urgent meeting with the Chief Constable as what amounts to retreating officers to Armagh & Lurgan raises serious concerns about the future response to crime in Banbridge and our large surrounding rural area.

“The proposal is an utter disgrace. The way in which they are being presented to local people with absolutely no consultation is disrespectful and sets a dangerous precedent when you consider this is the most radical shake-up of local policing for decades.”

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