Alliance Leader’s fury at Antrim DPP appointments

South Antrim Alliance MLA David Ford has criticised the Policing Board for the way in which they appointed new members the Antrim District Policing Partnership.

David Ford said: “As a result of Sinn Fein Councillors joining District Policing Partnerships, most DPPs had a change in their independent membership.

“In the case of Antrim, where only one Council seat changed from UUP to Sinn Fein, I do not believe that there was any real need to change other members. However, the Policing Board determined that all the independent posts should be re-filled. This was despite the fact that the nine independent members were appointed barely two years ago for a four-year term.

“I was horrified to hear that seven of the nine had been replaced. In effect they had been sacked without any explanation, despite fulfilling the role they were given having completed just half their term. Indeed, one has served barely a year since he was appointed to fill a vacancy.

“It is no disrespect to the new members, some of whom I know to be extremely capable members of the local community, to say that their role is diminished by the method of their appointment.

“In appointing DPP members, the Policing Board appears to operate largely on the basis of a headcount of perceived religious background, rather than the contribution individuals might make. This is no way to make progress in a modern dynamic society. It smacks of harking back to bad old days of the past.

“I am writing to the Chairman of the Policing Board, Professor Rea, to ask for an assurance that the Board will not operate in such a ham-fisted and simplistic fashion in future.”


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