THE NEW head of the PSNI’s ‘F’ District – it takes in Fermanagh and most of Tyrone – Chief Superintendent Kevin Dunwoody, the father of two grown-up children, brings to his post an enviable track record in bringing down high-flying criminal gangs, as well as solving complex murder cases.
He took up his post on 1st April last, succeeding C/Supt Pauline Shields and, though Omagh based, he intends getting to know the people of Fermanagh, on the streets.
He himself has had limited contact with the county, apart from his time as a technical adviser with LEDU before joining the police 18 years ago, and in his ‘crime opps’ role.
Last year he made his most telling local contact at the G8 summit in his role as head of training for G8 ‘mutual aid’ officers and their welfare work stream.
“It went brilliantly, the G8”, he said. “To be honest, the weather was perfect for us.”
While ‘F’ district, as yet, may not be synonymous with organised crime, readers will be aware that the ‘green shoots’ are there in the form of thefts of livestock and farm machinery.
And, although (Belfast) city born, Mr Dunwoody, has had past dealings with this scourge, and deep empathy with the victims.
“When you’re talking about £35/40,000- £100,000 worth of farm machinery stolen, it makes a fair dent in your ability to operate if you lose it, particularly if you’re a contractor, something you’re relying on for your daily bread.
“Likewise, farm animals, they too have got a value.”
He has some interesting ideas as to how this type of crime can be controlled, one being the use of the social media, both by the police and members of the public.
And, as someone who has worked alongside financial experts in sourcing criminal assets, he speaks with some authority.
“People don’t steal unless they can get rid of it and translate it in to hard cash, so the big thing for us is that the public can help. As soon as they see something that is out of the ordinary, they should ring us in.”
Drawing on his ‘serious organised crime’ experience, he admitted he had put away, ‘loads of people’. And, it is clear he got as much enjoyment from hitting were it hurts.
“People may not mind going to jail as long as when they come out, they have villa in Spain to fall back on, so what we would like to be able to do is take the villa off them because, when we do that, it makes them a wee bit uncomfortable.”
But, for Chief Superintendent Dunwoody, it’s not all police work outside of the family. He’s into landscaping and gardening and, he can make a brave stab at playing the piano and guitar.
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