Today's Budget Announcement another blow for PSNI – Nesbitt

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Today's Budget Announcement another blow for PSNI – Nesbitt

Mike Nesbitt, the Ulster Unionist Party’s spokesperson on the Policing Board, has described today's Budget Statement from the Finance Minister Conor Murphy, as another huge blow for the PSNI. The Minister informed the Assembly this morning that there is no legal mechanism for him to bring forward a budget, be it for one year or the intended three.

Mike Nesbitt has made clear this represents another significant reverse for the PSNI, who already had identified a £226 million hole in their budget over the next three years.

Mike Nesbitt said:

“There was a ring-fenced commitment to deliver an additional £14.8 million a year over the next three years for PSNI staffing. Without delivery of that budget promise, the pressures on the police budget increase to over £270 million. How can anyone expect the PSNI to keep people safe when they are having their hands tied by budget constraints?

“There is also the question of what happens to the funds for the Executive programme  Tackling Paramilitary Activity which the Minister had said were to be held centrally for allocation in year. That's another £14.8 million at risk.

“The PSNI have been clear. The current budget proposals could see police headcount drop by a thousand to around 6,000 officers. At a time when we remain committed to increasing that headcount to 7,500 this is a perverse prospect. At any time, it is not acceptable. But it is an outworking of the DUP's decision to collapse the Executive. Did they think that through?”