Police respond to claim of one-car patrols

On patrol
On patrol

Police have responded to an allegation that there is only one response police vehicle to cover both Ballymoney and Moyle during evenings.

The claim was made by Councillor Bill Kennedy at a recent meeting of Ballymoney Council during which he described the situation as ‘ridiculous’ and ‘scandalous’.

But this week Inspector David Anderson said: “Police have recently modernised the way in which we patrol the local area. Response cars move around the district, ready to attend calls on a 24/7 basis. This modernisation involves the use of new technology, which sends the nearest car to the emergency or priority call, whether that call comes from Ballymoney or elsewhere in the district.

“Neighbourhood teams also patrol the Ballymoney area in vehicles as well as by bicycle and on foot, while an Operational Support Team, Roads Policing Unit and other specialist officers attend calls if needed to.

“This means that when Ballymoney people need police, we have the vehicles, technology and people to get there quickly.

“I have contacted Alderman Kennedy to set up a meeting to clarify the position. But my message to local people is to continue to dial 999 in an emergency situation. Police will send the nearest car to all emergency and priority calls and we continue to serve the community and keep people safe by responding as quickly as possible.

Inspector Anderson concluded: “Also, please remember that the non emergency number is 0845 600 8000”.

Alderman Kennedy said he had received a number of calls on the matter.

“I know this is of serious concern to the citizens of the Borough and I think it is scandalous. We are talking about a large geographical area, probably the biggest in Northern Ireland.

“I would ask for a meeting with the chief officer for the district and I think whoever is in charge of resources in Ballymoney who if not able to get the resources is not fit for the job.”

Alderman Kennedy said that if someone needed the police on the other side of Ballymoney and they could have to travel a long distance. This is not acceptable,” he added.

Pictured below is a police Sergeant beside two patrol cars outside Ballymoney station.