Northern Ireland Police Chief Constable has "made it clear" to Boris Johnson that PSNI will not patrol border
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Northern Ireland Police Chief Constable has "made it clear" to Boris Johnson that PSNI will not patrol border

The Police Chief Constable of Northern Ireland has told Boris Johnson that the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) will not patrol the border between NI and the Republic.

According to RTE, Chief Constable Simon Byrne spent 30 minutes on the phone with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson where the former insisted it would be "impossible" to patrol the border.

"It was a very open conversation," Mr Bryne said. "Trying to tell him we saw that it was nigh-on impossible to try and police over 300 crossings with the amount of police officers we had."

Referring to the conversation as "candid", Mr Byrne said the Prime Minister was "responsive to what we said and at the end of the day, how it landed and what he thought... you're going to have to ask him."

Speaking to the Northern Ireland Policing Board, Mr Byrne confirmed that he had also told the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) that "it will not be the role of the PSNI to staff any form of border security."

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"We are clearly there to facilitate normality and day-to-day policing, but not to carry out custom checks and the function of other agencies in whatever proposal is or isn't agreed in the next few weeks."

The NIO has approved a request by the PSNI for additional officers, with Chairwoman Anne Connolly acknowledging the extremely high pressure officers in Northern Ireland are under with the uncertainty of Brexit.

She admitted, however, that even additional officers "may not even be enough"..."depending on how Brexit goes."