Blair requests public Policing Board session take place tomorrow

Alliance Policing Board member John Blair MLA has requested the Board hold a public meeting tomorrow afternoon, following the cancellation of a scheduled session.

The Policing Board was originally due to meet in public, alongside a private meeting, with Chief Constable Simon Byrne expected to answer questions relating to the Bobby Storey funeral. However, the public meeting was cancelled this afternoon, due to clashing with the recalled Assembly sitting.

Mr Blair has now written to the Policing Board to request the public meeting take place at 3pm tomorrow, following the scheduled ending of the Assembly session at 2pm, pledging to raise it at the private meeting if it has not been rescheduled before then.

“The Policing Board provides a vital role in our democracy, allowing elected representatives and members of the public to hold the PSNI accountable,” he said.

“In addition, there is clearly an added matter this time in relation to the fallout from the Bobby Storey funeral. Whilst Alliance doesn’t share the desire of some parties to see the removal of the Chief Constable from his position, we understand there is an important openness and transparency issue here.

“In addition, there are various pressing issues of major public concern which need discussed, including violent attacks, hate crimes, cyber crime and paramilitarism. Therefore I have contacted the Board to request the public session take place at 3pm tomorrow after the Assembly session, to ensure this integral part of the police accountability structures continues to happen.”