PSNI Budget Assessment is Devastating – 6,000 officers not enough says Nesbitt

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PSNI Budget Assessment is Devastating – 6,000 officers not enough says Nesbitt

At today’s meeting of the Policing Board’s Resources Committee, the PSNI’s Chief Operating Officer, Pamela McCreedy, told members that the draft three year budget published this week by the Finance Minister could see the police headcount fall by as much as 1,100 officers, a situation she described as potentially “catastrophic”.

Mike Nesbitt MLA, the Ulster Unionist representative on the Policing Board said:

“The headline figure presented by Conor Murphy when he briefed the Assembly on Monday was an additional £44.4 million for PSNI staff. As I said at the time, this was some £30 million short of what is required to increase the headcount to 7,500 officers, the target set in New Decade New Approach.

“But it now emerges the underlying budget figures reveal a massive shortfall which could see up to 1,100 officers lost over the three years 2022 to 2025. That means the PSNI having to operate with 1,500 fewer officers than promised. Clearly that is totally unacceptable.

“There is a £180 million gap in the budget. That has extremely serious implications for the PSNI’s ability to do its job. What is needed now is an assessment from the PSNI of the potential implications for service delivery of such a drastic cut in budget and headcount. What does this mean for neighbourhood policing? Or tackling organised crime, drugs, and people trafficking?

“As the party of law and order, we will be calling on the Justice Minister, Naomi Long MLA, to step up and protect the PSNI’s ability to keep people safe.”