15 March 2006

PSNI praise for CRJ scheme

Daily Ireland

by Allison Morris

One of Belfast’s top PSNI officers has praised the work of Community Restorative Justice in trying to resolve the bitter family feud in the Ballymurphy area of the city.
Chief Superintendent David Boultwood has been heading the police operation in the area. He said yesterday that the PSNI needed the community’s help to restore peace to the west Belfast estate.
Since the murder of Gerard Devlin on February 3, Ballymurphy has experienced more than 150 incidents, including several petrol bomb attacks.
Speaking yesterday, Chief Superintendent Boultwood said: “What we have said is that anybody who can provide a service or a facility in which to bring the two families together, then we would welcome that.”
Speaking about the role of Community Restorative Justice, he said: “They and we would recognise that people cannot work in isolation. It has to be a multiagency approach — otherwise, the whole thing falls down.”
He added: “My understanding is that there are people mediating at this present time and hopefully there will be some movement forward.
“I would say that they [Community Restorative Justice] have a role along with other groups and what we may see in Ballymurphy in the near future is very much a multiagency approach to resolving this problem.
“The position at the minute is that the last few nights have been very quiet and there are people who are working very hard within the community to resolve the ongoing problems.
“We are aware of the work that is being done on the ground and we are very supportive of that.”

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