Newly-constituted NIPB elects new chair and vice-chair

The Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB) has elected Doug Garrett as its new chair with Dr Tom Frawley taking up the position of vice-chair.

Apr 2, 2020
By Paul Jacques
Doug Garrett and Tom Frawley

The appointments were confirmed today (April 2) at the first meeting of the newly-constituted board, which was conducted via tele-conference call.

Mr Garrett, who is an independent member of the NIPB, will succeed Professor Anne Connolly OBE.

“These are, of course, unprecedented times for our service and for everyone in our community,” said Mr Garrett.

“The chief constable provided an update to the board today on plans to make sure the policing service maintains service delivery and supports the decisions being made by the Northern Ireland Executive.

“The chief constable has clearly explained the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) approach to engaging with the community in using the new dispersal powers enacted by the Executive at this time. As a board we will oversee the police use of this legislation, but ask the community to continue to follow the guidance issued. We all need to self-police and help prevent the spread of this virus.

“We know that PSNI officers and staff will not be exempt from the impact of Covid-19 and at today’s meeting updates were requested on the provision of personal protective equipment, the position with testing, and other support that is being given at this time. As a board we thank all our officers and staff for the work they are doing on our behalf alongside our other emergency services and all those whose work is keeping us safe.”

Dr Frawley, also an independent member, will take over as vice-chair from Debbie Watters. He has previously served as the Northern Ireland Ombudsman and Commissioner for Complaints.

“I am honoured to have been elected to this role and will endeavour to work corporately with the board in an independent and fair manner. In addition to supporting and overseeing the PSNI, the board has a substantial programme of work to be undertaken and I look forward to working with the chair and board members,” said Dr Frawley.

The appointments were welcomed by the Police Federation for Northern Ireland chair Mark Lindsay.
“First of all, I would like to register my gratitude to both Anne and Debbie for their hard work, dedication and commitment over the years they served,” he said.

“We enjoyed a very productive relationship with them working to achieve common goals on behalf of the community and the officers I represent. I wish them well for the future and thank them for the fair-minded and objective way they carried out their roles in often difficult circumstances.

“I would like to congratulate Doug Garrett and Dr Tom Frawley on their election. Both board members have a wealth of private and public sector experience they can call on and I hope we can continue to enjoy the same constructive relationship we enjoyed with their immediate predecessors.”

Under the NIPB’s Standing Orders, the positions of chair and vice-chair will be for a two-year term.

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