Police response to Crossmaglen robberies questioned

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Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
Sinn Féin councillor Terry Hearty has questioned why it took the PSNI six hours to respond to a call from him regarding two house robberies in the Crossmaglen area. The incidents occurred at approximately 10.30am on Thursday 15th August and the local councillor said he was on the scene ‘within minutes’ of being alerted. “Very soon after I had spoken to the victims I contacted the PSNI and informed them that local people had recorded the registration of the vehicle used in the robberies and that this vehicle was still in the locality and was being monitored by members of the community,” Hearty revealed. “The police unfortunately did not have any available officers to follow this up and the perpetrators made good their escape. In addition it was 5.00pm before the police visited the victims of this crime.” Councillor Hearty said that while he understood the different pressures on police resources he would not accept a second rate service for the people of Crossmaglen. “I am a member of the Policing and Community Safety Partnership and as such I encourage people to report incidents to the police. I am worried that a scenario could develop where people feel there is no point in reporting robberies and other incidents of crime. The police must make a better effort to build the confidence of local communities in them. “The PSNI repeatedly talk of providing a community policing service but I didn’t see evidence of it in this case. There was recent reports of a great outcome in Mullaghbane when members of the community worked alongside the police to foil a robbery. I want to encourage local people to keep liaising with the police and I hope that their lack of response on this occasion does not jeopardise that. Hearty added, “I hope that the victims of these crimes are not too traumatised by their ordeal and I urge people to remain vigilant to suspicious activity.”
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