Radical changes to policing in Antrim

Superintendent Muir Clark.
Superintendent Muir Clark.

The Superintendent in charge of Antrim and Newtownabbey has claimed that these areas should benefit from dramatic changes to local policing.

From September 14, the old ‘response teams’ will disappear with the creation of two new Neighbourhood Policing Teams - one to be based in Antrim and the other in Newtownabbey.

Superintendent Muir Clark is the Commander in charge of Antrim and Newtownabbey District Command Unit told the Times that the changes are the biggest changes to how they do business since Patten.

Budget restraints have led to this restructuring, with the Superintendent stating that the current system of Neighbourhood Teams was no longer sustainable.

The changes will see the creation of Local Policing Teams (LPT), based in both Antrim and Newtownabbey which will provide a 24/7 service in both areas.

The Superintendent said: “We decided to make sure we properly fulfilled our obligations we would change the way we do business.

The local policing teams will be on 24/7 and because of the way it is resourced, each member of the LPT will own a district electoral area,

He added. “The additional officers will go and work in the district electoral area on the issues and problems that are effecting them in those areas.

“I am not losing staff to somewhere else, I am redistributing staff that I have in a way that I feel will provide a better level of service.

“I really see this returning to the real routes of policing with the community.”

“I honesty do believe that this will allow us to build better relationships in Antrim and Newtownabbey and deliver a more personal service to people who are not only victims of crime but those being affected by different issues such as anti-social behaviour,” the Superintendent said.