‘They know they’re in for a rough ride’: PSNI boost police presence in Coalisland ahead of public meeting on drugs30th April 2012 | By: brendan64 | 1 Comment »
The PSNI has boosted its policing presence in Coalisland as a result of the public outcry over the town’s drugs issues, it has been revealed.
The force in charge of policing the Coalisland area has been bumped up from one sergeant and six officers to one sergeant and 10 officers, according to Coalisland parish priest Fr Paul Byrne.
The move follows intense pressure from the Coalisland community to tackle the town’s drugs issues after a series of public meetings and a mass demonstration, with many residents claiming that officers have failed to tackle the problem.
PSNI representatives are expected to announce the changes to policing at a public meeting on Thursday 3 May at 8pm in Coalisland’s Parochial Centre.
It will be the first time police have have met with Coalisland residents since concerns over issues with drugs in the town snowballed last month.
The policing changes were revealed when Fr Paul and Church of Ireland minister Rev Andrew Rawding met with three senior PSNI officers and representatives from all political parties on April 24 .
Speaking about the policing changes, Fr Paul said the PSNI intended to be more visible in the Coalisland community following the vast public outcry.
He said: “We let them know that there was.. discontent – let’s put it that way. They did see that they’re in for a rough ride, but they’re going to be coming prepared for that.”
Fr Paul spoke to Coalisland Post on Friday 27 April, when youth groups and charities came together at the Coalisland Parochial Centre showcase their work.
He added: “The police just wanted to update us on their position. Their intention is to become a lot more visible and they have asked for the support of all the political parties.”
Meanwhile, PSNI Chief Inspector Jane Humphries has stressed that officers are not “ignoring” problems of drug and alcohol abuse in the Coalisland area, and reassured residents that they were more than willing to attend a public meeting to discuss the issues.
“We work very closely with the community – we work quietly with the community in Coalisland,” she told the Tyrone Times.
“It is a great village. It has a great vibrancy about it, even in today’s economic climate.”
What do you think of Coalisland’s drug issues? What do you think of the PSNI’s work in the area? Share your views by commenting below