Fears over policing meeting protest prove unfounded

Chief Inspector Derek McCamley.
Chief Inspector Derek McCamley.

DESPITE a clamour for places on the borough’s new policing forum from councillors, and it being the first opportunity for the public to question local officers after the July riot in the town, only a handful of people attended last week’s District Policing Partnership (DPP) meeting in Ballyclare.

New Area Commander, Chief Inspector Derek McCamley presented his report to a crowd of only a dozen people in Ballyclare Town Hall, including just three Newtownabbey councillors.

The meeting came just days after DUP councillors blocked an attempt to increase the size of the new Policing and Community Safety Partnership - which is to replace the DPP next year - in order to provide a seat for a nationalist representative.

Prior to the meeting graffiti was scrawled on walls in the Grange estate saying “Scum PSNI out” and it had been feared a protest may have been held at the meeting over the PSNI’s handling of the removal of flags in the area before the Twelfth this year which sparked a riot.

Instead, Chief Inspector McCamley outlined the latest crime statistics and gave an interesting presentation on steps to take to avoid burglary.

Read the full report in this week’s Times...