Sergeant Ryan Duffy is the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has responsibility with Community Planning across the District and sits on the Newry, Mourne and Down Intercultural Forum.

Sergeant Duffy is happy to outline the engagement and services PSNI have had with Black and Minority Ethnic Communities living in Newry, Mourne and Down.
As a Police Officer in Newry, Mourne and Down I want to promote and deliver the Service to all communities and to do this effectively I believe in the following three key areas:

1-‘We have a Safe Community’ – PSNI will effectively tackle crime to make communities safer and ensure all people feel safe.
2- ‘We have Confidence in Policing’ – to build community confidence in PSNI through effective engagement, activities and collaborative problem solving to improve public perceptions and increase trust.
3- ‘We have engaged and Supportive Communities’ – PSNI will work with communities using Neighbourhood Police Officers to work together to help solve public safety problems together to support the prosperity of the community.
I have been a member of the Newry, Mourne and Down’s Intercultural Forum since late 2019 and it is a privilege to be involved with the Forum. To have the opportunity to contribute to the forum and supporting BME/BAME people living in our communities is very important to me and PSNI. I hope by my involvement in the Forum I can show that the PSNI Care for all BME/BAME people living in communities across Newry Mourne and Down; PSNI Listen to the needs and wants of the BME/BAME communities and PSNI Act decisively to assist and protect people from BME/BAME communities at all times to keep people safe.

The PSNI engage regularly with other Statutory, Business, Voluntary and Community Partners and have been involved in many events and initiatives with BME/BAME communities for many years. As an example, our Neighbourhood Police Team (NPT) Officers have been involved with the Syrian Communities for a number of years at social events, most recently in June where Police Officers attended a family fun day in Newry.

NPT Officers in Newtownhamilton have been engaging with the Bulgarian / Roma Community in Newtownhamilton for some time with a number of engagement / family fun day events and this work continues along with Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP).
PSNI have been engaging with the Polish Community for some time with engagement events held at the Polish schools were NPT Officers many years with and have delivered key safety lessons to children in schools.

Across Northern Ireland PSNI engage in many BME/BAME engagements and events. Chief Constable Simon Byrne recently attended the North West Migrant Forum Family Fun Day in Derry/ Londonderry in July 2021.

The Youth In Action programme is a collaboration between the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Rio Ferdinand Foundation and UEFA Foundation and aims to train and support young people to take a lead in tackling inequality and racism in their own communities in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. The first project undertaken in this collaboration saw 15 young people from the Syrian refugee and asylum seeker community in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon area undertake a youth leadership qualification and work with volunteers from our partners at NI Hyatt, a Syrian led organisation in the region, to deliver a family football and cultural event in Portadown in the summer of 2021. The Rio Ferdinand Foundation have launched a film to showcase and celebrate the exceptional work carried out by the group to date.

PSNI NPT’s engage with all communities across Newry, Mourne and Down and if you have any community/sporting group, event or initiative I will be happy to facilitate PSNI Officers from the local NPT to meet with you and support you with your event/initiative.

PSNI in Newry Mourne and Down continue joint working with Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) in the Northern Ireland Refugee Resettlement Scheme (NIRRS) which focuses on finding suitable new homes for families. PSNI will review Crime/ASB statistics and new and emerging trends in the locality so that an informed suitability assessment can be made for relocating a family to a proposed new home under the NIRRS. This is an ongoing humanitarian scheme which allows people to have the opportunity to enjoy family life, living amongst the community.

In relation to Hate Crime Newry, Mourne and Down PSNI can report that PSNI are committed to Investigating all Hate Incidents and Hate Crimes robustly. To report a Hate Incident or Hate Crime please contact Police on 101 or in an emergency call 999. I have provided Racial Hate Crime Statistics for Newry, Mourne and Down however if you wish to view more in-depth reports please refer to PSNI Website www.psni.police.uk

PSNI continue to protect, safeguard and support those who are Homeless / Rough Sleepers living among the community in Newry, Mourne and Down, some of whom, are from BME/BAME community. Joint working with NIHE, through the ‘Everyone In’ initiative, there has been a commitment by NIHE to have Rough Sleepers re-homed on a temporary basis to reduce their risk of harm. PSNI have identified new Rough Sleepers and by working jointly with NIHE ensured they were as safe as they could be during the Covid-19 pandemic and re-homed.

I am a member of the South Down Homelessness Local Area Group. On behalf of PSNI I will continue to contribute in addressing the issues of homelessness / Rough Sleepers across Newry, Mourne and Down.

PSNI continue to have a good relationship with the registered Foodbanks across Newry, Mourne and Down and where appropriate if vulnerable persons and families can avail of support from the foodbanks PSNI have made referrals to the respective Foodbank to ensure families have sufficient food and water. PSNI have made referrals to Foodbanks on behalf of BME/BAME people and will continue to support were vulnerable persons are identified by Police Officers.

I also am a member of the Newry Mourne and Down Traveller Forum and provide PSNI input and support along with Council and Statutory partners. If there are any issues raised where PSNI can provide insight, support or advice I will happily provide it to resolve any issues identified.

I also represent PSNI in the Community Support Partnership which involves Statutory, Voluntary and Community Partners to support the most vulnerable persons across Newry, Mourne and Down. The aim is to support vulnerable persons/persons at risk by:-

  • Earlier & more accurate intervention
  • Focus on preventing & repairing harm.
  • Better information sharing between Partners
  • Co-ordinated intervention for people who otherwise would not get multiagency support.
  • Opening up Community partnerships to support the most vulnerable
  • Keep and maintain the focus on the individual involved and provide effective support to meet needs.

To contact PSNI for a call for Service, there are two standard telephone numbers for the public 101 – Non-Emergency Number and 999 – Emergency Number (Police, Ambulance or Fire Service). To facilitate potential communication issues PSNI use the ‘The Big Word’ Interpreting/translation service where a 3-way call is possible so that the nature of the call can be ascertained and the appropriate response is made by PSNI to assist the caller.
Officers will also use ‘The Big Word’ interpreter/translation service when attending calls for service which will allow for the member of the public to clearly explain their complaint so that Officers can deal effectively with the matter. If Statements or Interviews are required these are facilitated by having an interpreter tasked to attend at an agreed date/time. Within PSNI we have some Police Officers from BME/BAME community and on occasion can facilitate in communication and interpretation if required.

PSNI will be releasing details this autumn, of the new Recruitment Campaign for Police Officers and Police Staff. This opportunity is open to all people (including people being from outside of the United Kingdom) subject to eligibility criteria: For more information see PSNI Website www.joinpsni.co.uk .
By being an active participant in the Forum, I regularly meet new people from BME/BAME community and I can promote the work PSNI are already engaging in, within Newry, Mourne and Down. I am always keen to offer further opportunities for individuals and groups to engage with PSNI and the Forum is an ideal platform to do this. On behalf of PSNI I want to thank all those who participate and contribute to the success of the Forum as I feel it is an excellent mechanism to promote positive and important engagement with BME/BAME communities across Newry, Mourne and Down.

Sergeant Ryan Duffy
Community Planning, Newry, Mourne and Down

Ryan.Duffy@psni.police.uk

Police recorded racist incidents and crimes by policing district