Young people need to be given a second chance in life says PSNI Inspector
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Inspector Roy Robinson taking questions on twitter.
INSPECTOR Roy Robinson has said he doesn't want to see young people "criminalised".
And he has hit back at criticism that there aren't enough police officers on the streets of Enniskillen at night.
The Inspector, who has served the communities of Fermanagh and Tyrone for over 30 years, made his comments during our Twitter Q&A discussion last week.
In the 60 minute live session, Luke Burns (@_LukeBurns) challenged the senior officer, tweeting: "The town seems to be really rough on a Saturday night and there aren't enough police officers there. Will we see a change?"
"We have CCTV which picks up many crimes and we can follow up later. We also work closely with the pub staff," replied Inspector Robinson.
While he agreed that he could always do with more of his team on the ground, he stated that "the public must take responsibility for their actions".
In response, Luke tweeted: "I agree, but on a Saturday night when there's always a lot of trouble the police don't seem to be doing much about it?
On the topic of police checkpoints, Inspector Robinson was asked: "Do you just set up checkpoints to pass the time, or are they actually doing some work when they stop me for the millionth time?"
Replying, he said check points were required to "prevent and detect crime" in the area, adding: "Fermanagh is one of the safest place to live because of this".
"For the record, we cannot know in advance who is going to come along at the next road stop," tweeted the Inspector.
Sharon Whittaker (@WHITTonTWITT) tweeted: "How do the PSNI effectively and positively engage with the most hard to reach young people in Fermanagh?"
"We are presently working with young people and have 12 young people at the station seeing how crime affects victims," came the reply.
Sharon responded: "Define 'working with' and my question was in relation to the most hard to reach, marginalised and vulnerable young people".
Inspector Robinson replied: "The people we have today are vulnerable and have been involved in crime. I want to see these kids turn their lives around".
"We all do. Often welfare-based support, rather than the formal system, can be the best way to help young people achieve this," added Sharon.
"I agree. I don't want to see our children criminalised and put in jail. Children should get a second chance," tweeted Roy.
Sammy Douglas (@SammyDouglasMLA) wrote: "I visited the PSNI stall on rural crime at Balmoral Show recently. I was very impressed - officers were excellent ambassadors".
"I am pleased you enjoyed visiting the show. We are presently rolling out Farm Watch across Co Fermanagh".
Shona Morrison (@Sho_Morrison) asked: "How are you actively combating under-age drinking?"
"We are checking pubs and hotels for young people drinking and checking buses going to discos. This has been successful".
Ronan Daly (@RonanD87) tweeted: "What will you be doing the day the Queen visits Enniskillen?"
"Great news that HRH is coming. I will be on duty and we will work with the community to make sure she is welcome," he replied.
During the Twitter chat, the Inspector revealed that rural crime is the biggest problem in Fermanagh, such as theft of boat engines, tractors, copper, lead and home heating oil.
Mervyn eliott (@MervynNI) asked: "Are there any plans to relocate Enniskillen Police Station. The hospital is moving could the station".
"No, I don't think there is enough money in the pot to move to a new location so we are staying where we are for the moment".
Asked what can be done to prevent the wanton theft and vandalism at vacant properties/building sites, the Inspector tweeted: "We work alongside builders who can find it difficult to complete projects because of the theft, and the recession".
This article appeared in Impartial Reporter 07 Jun 12