THOSE IN higher positions within policing should be hit first – not frontline services, a local MLA has said.
The PSNI confirmed to the Fermanagh Herald this week that there will be a ‘significant impact’ on how policing is carried out in Fermanagh because of budget cuts.
But, Sinn Fein’s Sean Lynch has said that his view is that those in higher positions should be looked at ahead of frontline staff.
Just last week, this paper revealed that Erne North was to be hit with Kesh police station losing two of its officers to Enniskillen.
And, when pressed about further cuts to policing here, and how they would impact locally, Chief Superintendent Kevin Dunwoody said: “Our aim is to deliver savings while ensuring that our service to the communities in Fermanagh is fit for purpose and sustainable.”
He went on: “It is too early to outline the exact impact of these cuts locally, however I believe it will have a significant impact on how we deliver policing in the future. We have to do everything we can to live within our reduced means and still provide a service to the people of Fermanagh.
Responding to proposed cuts MLA Sean Lynch said: “First of all I understand the pressure on the budget in the current period. I’m on the justice committee so I know the cuts are to policing and justice department.”
But, he did not feel that frontline services should be the first hit.
“I believe the PSNI senior management should be looking where savings should be made a higher level instead of cutting services.
“I haven’t heard of any cuts to the likes of community policing, but frontline services should not be the first board of call. There’s no doubt savings could be made in higher management.”
Asked what impact he foresaw on policing locally, he said: “I don’t know – and I can’t pre-empt, but the easy touch is always frontline services.
“We feel departments can make savings elsewhere without going at frontline services.”
He concluded: “The view is policing is scarce enough in some areas. At this stage I wouldn’t want to be scaremongering – but we wouldn’t want to leave communities more vulnerable to crime.”
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