Stephen Farry stated: “This was the right and responsible decision for the Policing Board to take. The priority for the use of scarce policing resources must be front-line policing, and maximising the opportunity for the visible presence of officers out in the community.
“The overly-large police estate acts a major distortion in the application of resources. A station is a base of operation, which can easily tie up resources. It in itself does not provide security. It is a properly equipped, mobile and flexible organisation that can best provide reassurance to the community.
“There will naturally be apprehension in the community over policing change and a loss of resources. It requires leadership from the Chief Constable, and the Policing Board to explain the policing benefits of today’s moves. It is disappointing that some political members of the Board have instead stoked up fears.”