The SDLP has nominated Sinéad McLaughlin MLA to be its representative on the Policing Board.
SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP said that, 20 years after the Patten reforms, policing must be done with the consent and confidence of all communities.
The SDLP leader said that Ms McLaughlin will be an advocate for a representative police service that works to build community confidence, supporting them where possible but that she will also hold police to account robustly whenever necessary.
Colum Eastwood MP said:
“Policing and the reforms that delivered the new beginning to policing twenty years ago are a fundamental part of the peace process. Ensuring that we have a police service that is representative of the communities it serves and that it commands the confidence of those communities is a big task. Sinéad McLaughlin will be a powerful advocate for better policing outcomes for every community and I am delighted to appoint her as the SDLP’s member of the Policing Board.
“The British Government’s unilateral action on legacy investigations will fundamentally alter the justice landscape in the North. Combined with budgetary pressures and existing challenges within policing, it is important that we have a Policing Board that is fiercely independent and robustly defends the Patten principles. I know that Sinéad is up to the challenge.”
Foyle MLA Sinéad McLaughlin said:
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to serve on the Policing Board and play a positive role in advancing policing across the North. I know from experience how important building relationships between our political representatives and the PSNI is and have seen first-hand the impact it has had in Derry and I’ll be hoping to carry on and further develop those relationships in my new role.
“The police service faces a number of significant challenges that we need to get to grips with, including budget pressures which are impacting the number of serving officers. We need to ensure that we have a properly resourced police service so that they can provide the response that our communities expect. I’m looking forward to using my role on the board to provide a voice for local people on the issues that matter to them and continuing the good work done by my predecessors.”