"Welcome to Northern Ireland" sign with a reminder that the speed limits are in miles per hour.

Justice ministers south and north of the boundary have met to discuss co-operation and discuss learning on criminal mental health, hate crime, youth justice, forensic science and service for sufferers.

Mrs Long said:”Cross-border co-operation on justice matters is critical to both of our authorities. I welcome the chance to meet Minister Humphreys and take forward discussions on a selection of cross-border initiatives under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Agreement.

“Co-operating on those initiatives and sharing learning issues like offender mental health, hate crime, youth justice, forensic science and support for victims contributes greatly to ensuring we are doing what we can to promote good practice in these regions.

“The Covid pandemic has also presented us with important challenges across the justice systems. It’s important that the revolutionary responses and learning that were created in response to the pandemic are shared to our mutual benefit.”

Mrs Humphreys stated:”Cross-border co-operation in policing and criminal justice matters remains a priority and our assembly now exhibited the high amount of dynamic co-operation between our criminal justice systems.

“I was encouraged to hear about the ongoing excellent function in sharing our expertise and practices across a variety of areas, such as training to deal with high risk offenders, sharing information with regard to youth offending, ongoing work concerning support for victims and tackling issues such as hate crime.

“During the meeting we also took the opportunity to discuss the effect of this Covid outbreak on our criminal justice systems and looked ahead to how we could build on what has been achieved and learned during the ordeal, as we face the challenges ahead.”