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THE Police Service has launched a new Public Protection Unit (PPU) aimed at tackling child abuse, domestic violence and managing sex offenders. Operating across D District - Newtownabbey, Lisburn, Antrim and Carrickfergus - the new unit has been set up to tackle child abuse and domestic abuse, to respond to vulnerable and missing people and to manage violent and sexual offenders in the commuADVERTISEMENTnity. "The Public Protection Unit marks a significant boost to services to local communities by providing protection to the most vulnerable people in society. It will, for the first time, draw together a team of specially trained police officers, managed at local level to detect, investigate and prevent crimes," explained District Commander Henry Irvine. "An important part of its work will be to identify and share intelligence within a dedicated team. There is clear evidence that there are links between domestic abuse and child abuse. The PPU will allow for early intervention and seek to identify links between cases, victims and offenders. They will bring together specialist skills to complete pictures where, in the past, there have been gaps or blind spots," the Chief Superintendent added. Detective Inspector Reuben Black will lead the D District Child Abuse Investigation Unit, which will contain several specialist child protection detectives. Inspector Stephen Marshall, a former Sector Inspector in Ballyclare, will lead the team of officers who will investigate and manage domestic violence, vulnerable people, missing persons and sexual offenders.