Northern Ireland

Police say 3,500 fewer arrests due to public disorder and protests

Loyalist protest
Image caption Police resources have been tied up policing public disorder and protests

There have been almost 3,500 fewer arrests in Northern Ireland in the past nine months than in the same period the previous year.

Police said the shortfall was because so many of their resources have been tied up in policing public disorder and protests.

Across NI, there have been 467 fewer people charged than the previous year.

Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr said: "We need to get back to doing our core job."

"We need to get back to tackling the scourge of drugs, arresting burglars, arresting domestic abusers, to keeping people safe on our roads," he told members of the Policing Board.

"The longer this abnormal policing goes on, the less we can do that normal, core policing activity."

He said an extra 150 officers a night are having to police the Ardoyne/Twaddell interface in north Belfast.

A total of 689 officers have been hurt in past 14 months.

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