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Assembly needed to help address police shortfall after Brexit, says Blair

There is a need for a restored Assembly to help address the shortfall in police officers after Brexit, Alliance Policing Board member John Blair MLA has said.

The South Antrim MLA was speaking after a meeting of the Board, during which he quizzed Chief Constable Simon Byrne around policing needs to cope with potential incidents relating to Brexit. The Chief Constable said while no intelligence suggested unrest was likely, extra officers may have to be drafted in from other parts of the UK for support.

“This is an incredibly serious issue and while I welcome the Chief Constable’s comments around no specific intelligence relating to potential unrest following Brexit, it is still concerned to hear the PSNI may not have enough officers to ensure a minimum of disruption for the public,” said Mr Blair.

“Given Brexit is a folly being pursued by the UK Government, the Government now has a responsibility to step in and help mitigate the problems it will cause, by backing the Chief Constable’s financial asks and ensuring he has the resources to carry out his job.

“There is no such thing as a good or sensible Brexit but if it happens, a restored Assembly can play a major role in helping address the shortfall in officers the PSNI will likely experience.”