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Warning on lack of resources to police Border

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(Stock image)

(Stock image)

(Stock image)

Police in the North have warned they must receive financial assurances they will have resources to patrol the Border in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers in Northern Ireland, said a failure to pay for extra recruits would force the redeployment of hundreds of policemen and women away from cities and towns to cover Border crossings. PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton has asked the UK Home Office to fund 400 extra officers to enable him to deal with the repercussions of Brexit.

The federation believes even more officers will be needed, and said a Government decision was "overdue".

Police Federation for Northern Ireland chairman Mark Lindsay called for "certainty, direction and clarity" around Brexit and what it will mean for policing in the region after March.

"The political turmoil around Brexit is for politicians to resolve, but what we are saying is accelerate contingency planning to prepare for what happens from April 1," he said.

"We cannot afford to sleepwalk into a situation where, at the last minute, officers are redeployed from cities and towns such as Belfast, Ballymena or Coleraine to some of the major crossing points along the 310-mile Border with the Republic of Ireland.

"We need hundreds more officers if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal.

"The case has already been made by the PSNI for more resources, and decisions are now overdue."

Mr Lindsay's remarks come amid warnings that a hard Brexit could prompt an upsurge in dissident republican activity.

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