The SDLP has nominated Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan to be its new representative on the Policing Board.
Mr Durkan replaces previous representative Sinéad McLaughlin.
SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood acknowledged the current pressures impacting policing in the North but said the PSNI still has work to do to address issues within the police service.
Mr Eastwood said Mr Durkan would work to hold the PSNI to account, while advocating for a police service that truly reflects the community it represents and holds their confidence.
Foyle MP Mr Eastwood said:
“This is a challenging time for policing in the North, with funding uncertainty impacting the PSNI’s budget and threatening officer numbers and vital services. Despite these challenges, I believe the police service still has much work to do to address the concerns raised in recent months, particularly around outstanding legacy issues, a lack of representation and community confidence.
“These difficulties aside, policing has undoubtedly been one the success stories of the peace process, having been transformed in the last two decades. I am delighted to appoint Mark H Durkan to the Policing Board, he is vastly experienced and I know he will work to hold the police to account and ensure the best possible police service for people across the North.”
Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan said:
“The SDLP has always understood the importance of fostering a positive relationship between our police service and communities across the North and I am grateful for the opportunity of carrying on the good work of my predecessors on the Policing Board.
“During my political career I have worked with the PSNI both on the ground in Derry and in a wider context as both a Minister and MLA and that’s something I am looking forward to building on going forward.
“The greatest challenge facing our police service at the moment is one around resources and that’s something we must see addressed in the near future before it impacts on officer numbers and the PSNI’s ability to combat crime. To deliver the best police service possible we need to see our institutions functioning and a multi-year budget in place to provide certainty for the future. I will also work to ensure that the North has a police service that is reflective of, and holds the confidence and consent of the communities they serve.”