PSNI rejects joint patrols call

Catherine Morrison
Irish News

The Northern Ireland Office last night rejected calls for gardai to be allowed to police villages in south Armagh alongside the PSNI.

Louth TD Seamus Kirk had appealed to the Irish and British governments to examine the feasibility of a joint policing arrangement between the two forces along the border in south Armagh.

He named the villages of Forkhill and Crossmaglen as the ideal location for a pilot scheme whereby Garda officers would work alongside PSNI officers to police the area.

However last night an NIO spokesman ruled out any exchanges between officers on a local level.

"Patten clearly stated that he did not envisage exchanges of patrol officers," he said.

"However the government is taking forward recommendation 159 which stated that there should be a programme of long-term exchanges, such as fixed-term secondments between the Northern Ireland police and the Garda, in specialist fields where cooperation between the two services is most needed.'

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