Northern Ireland

Policing letters sent to every home in Northern Ireland

Chief Constable George Hamilton
Image caption Chief Constable George Hamilton said it was vitally important that the public are kept updated about the changes

PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton has written to every home in Northern Ireland about what forthcoming policing changes will mean for the public.

From 1 April the PSNI is aligning its districts with the 11 new local councils as part of the Review of Public Administration (RPA).

They have described it as the "biggest shake-up" in policing in years.

The letters will be accompanied by a newsletter written specifically for local communities.

Response teams abolished

The newsletters will introduce the new local district commander and team of senior officers.

They will also provide details on other changes taking place within frontline policing over the next six months.

Among the changes is the abolishment of response teams, which are currently the first line of response to about 80% of calls from the public.

They are to be replaced by neighbourhood policing teams.

Chief Constable George Hamilton said: "It is vitally important the public are kept updated and informed of new developments within policing.

'Smaller organisation'

"Previous research has indicated that local people prefer to receive information directly through their letterbox so we have listened and are using the newsletters as one of a number of ways to inform them of what these changes will look like.

"Due to the impact on our budget, we are becoming a smaller organisation, which means we have to look at how we prioritise our reducing resources.

"However, I want to reassure the public that we will continue to work tirelessly to keep people safe," he added.

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