Northern Ireland news

PSNI seeking riot trained officers ahead of Brexit

PSNI Chief Superintendent Simon Walls said the force was working with other UK partners in its Brexit planning processes

THE PSNI has appealed for 'riot-trained' officers ahead of the UK's exit from the EU.

It has been reported that an email has been sent to police forces in Britain asking for officers with "level 2 public order training" to volunteer to assist the PSNI ahead of Brexit in March.

It is understood that three training days are due to take place ahead of March 29 to equip officers with the capabilities to carry out the type of operations that are more usual in the north.

There are already plans by the PSNI to recruit more than 100 extra officers by April in preparation for Brexit.

The latest appeal was made in anticipation of potential disruption, according to The Sun.

In a statement, the PSNI said the force was "working closely with other UK policing partners in our planning processes".

PSNI Chief Superintendent Simon Walls said the force was "working closely with other UK policing partners in our Brexit planning processes".

"Mutual aid would only be sought if absolutely necessary, however sensible precautionary preparations for it do form part of our ongoing planning work," he said.

"Such precautionary planning around mutual aid is something that happens every year across UK policing and if it were actually required, its provision to police services would be managed through the National Police Co-ordination Centre."

PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton has previously highlighted the dangers of paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland post-Brexit.

He warned that the British government was failing to prepare for the impact of leaving the EU on the peace and security in the north.

He also rejected claims that the threat of violence at the border after Brexit was being exaggerated.

Mr Hamilton said dissident republicans could try to exploit any hardening of the border while the PSNI was also mindful of the possibility there could be protests by loyalists if any deal created a perception of insecurity of their position within the UK.

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