Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland



Police chief bids farewell to Lisburn

Chief Superintendent Ken Henning

LISBURN police commander, Chief Superintendent Ken Henning, is leaving the District, after being appointed the Police Service's Head of Training, which will include the role of Head of the Police College.

In his new role Mr Henning will lead on all aspects of training across Northern Ireland.

Mr Henning has had a long association with Lisburn. It began as an RUC cadet in 1977, through two other appointments in the '90s, as an Inspector and Chief Inspector, to his last post as commander from August 2004.

"Policing with the people of Lisburn has been an honour and a privilege," said Mr Henning, reflecting on his time in the city. "And leading the team of officers and support staff who have worked tirelessly with the community to make Lisburn District a safer place for everybody has been a similar privilege."

He went on to say: "Policing is all about working together to serve local communities. That should be our aim. And I have been delighted to work closely with agencies, community groups, councillors, MLAs and the local MP, Jeffrey Donaldson."

Emphasising the importance of partnership within the District, Mr Henning spoke of the value of the local District Policing Partnership.

"The DPP plays an important part in monitoring police performance," he said. "But it is important for the police and the delivery of policing if any criticisms are constructive and positive.

"We have been criticised on performance but there are many things which influence crime and detection. There are no simple answers. Hence my plea at the time for caution and patience.

"We are doing markedly better and things are going the right way. For example, criminal damage has gone down by almost five percent in the second quarter of this year. Violent crime has also fallen.

"Lisburn DCU is now on target for an overall reduction of crime in line with our policing plan. We have moved from a 1.6 per cent increase reported at the last DPP meeting to a now 2.5 per cent decrease which is good news for the people of Lisburn.

"Our robust approach to road policing has also paid off in that, thankfully, there were no fatalities in the second quarter to date. Whilst this is the case, there have been around a further 20 people seriously injured and so it remains a police priority to make the roads in Lisburn District safer. "To do this we need the co-operation of all road users and I would appeal to drivers in particular to slow down and respect the road conditions and laws.

"The DPP chair and manager, indeed all members, have contributed to policing in' the area."

Mr Henning left the people of Lisburn with a final plea to help tackle crime in the District.

"Policing is a rewarding yet challenging career - a career which many people are choosing to follow," he said. "We will play our part but others have to play theirs.

"At its simplest, we can all tackle the issue of burglary. We will pursue those who break into other people's homes, shops, places of business. But, for example, more than half of all burglaries in July and August were not forced entry; the thief just walked in. People had not secured their goods.

"At another level the police need the support of every member of the community. Indeed, I would contend that they are entitled to expect that support.

"Because working together we defeat the criminal; we can tackle those who kill and maim on our roads; we can reduce fear of crime."

It is with a heavy heart that Mr Henning is saying farewell to Lisburn, however he is eagerly anticipating his new challenge. "I am leaving Lisburn with mixed feelings. I am looking forward to the challenges of leading police training, but I will miss the day to day contact with operational policing issues."

Mr Henning concluded by wishing his successor, Superintendent Mark Gilmore, every success.

"I would wish him well, as I do all my colleagues both police and civilian" he said.

Ulster Star