Dear Madam, - The officers working in Fermanagh and Omagh are among the most committed officers in the Police Service and I would dispute any suggestion to the contrary.
More broadly, we have helped to make Fermanagh and Omagh safer for everyone by reducing rates of a range of crimes, according to the latest statistics (April – August), there were 40 fewer victims of crime in Fermanagh and Omagh Policing District compared with the same period for the previous year, with 9 per cent increase in outcome rates.
Rural crime has fallen by an estimated 32 per cent (burglary, robbery and theft offences relating to agricultural-based activity) in Fermanagh and Omagh Policing district in the year from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015 compared with the previous year.
We do not hide behind those statistics. We understand the impact of crime and we take it seriously. We recognise that we still have work to do but these results are encouraging that we are going the right way. We remain wholeheartedly committed to delivering an effective and efficient police service for all and trying to better this figure over the coming year. However, for us, there is no acceptable level of crime and for PSNI, one victim is one too many.
Police are committed to protecting the public from all types of criminal activity and our resourcing model has been designed to reflect this.
Tackling criminality also requires the support of the public. We need information from communities on suspected criminal activities locally. The small piece of information that you call police or Crimestoppers with may be the missing link in building a case and bringing criminals before the courts.
Our focus remains on keeping people safe through protecting people, preventing crime and detecting offenders. We do this by working with the community, listening to their concerns and working with them to address areas of concern.
It has been well documented that the Police Service, along with all other public sector organisations, is facing significant levels of budget reduction. All areas of business are being reviewed.
Our aim is to deliver savings whilst ensuring that our service to the communities in Fermanagh and Omagh is fit for purpose and sustainable. Communities are the heart of what we do. Officers are members of the community and strive to work for it.
Our newly-formed locally based Local Policing Teams (LPT) work with their colleagues in Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPT) and those within specialist functions from Reactive and Organised Crime, TSG, Road Policing, Public Protection Branch and so on.
Officers from each team have been detailed to have local knowledge of specific District Electoral Areas, thus supplementing the work of the NPTs. LPTs will operate 24-hours a day.
The PSNI has reviewed a wide range of Departments and functions across the entire Service. Throughout this process consideration has been given to the demands that are placed on policing functions right across Northern Ireland and how these services can be structured to meet the needs of communities right across Northern Ireland. We have had to make changes to live within a reducing budget and so we are able to tackle new crime types such as cyber-crime and human trafficking. Our commitment to keeping people safe continues.
I would urge that the public to understand that there must be changes in the way that policing services are delivered but we are committed to keeping people safe, preventing crime and detecting offenders.
Yours faithfully, PSNI CHIEF INSPECTOR JOE MCMINN