PFNI says further cuts would be ‘reckless and irresponsible’

Any proposals to further cut the PSNI budget have been described as ‘reckless and irresponsible’ by the Police Federation for Northern Ireland.

PFNI says further cuts would be ‘reckless and irresponsible’

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Any proposals to further cut the PSNI budget have been described as ‘reckless and irresponsible’ by the Police Federation for Northern Ireland.

PFNI says further cuts would be ‘reckless and irresponsible’

Any proposals to further cut the PSNI budget have been described as ‘reckless and irresponsible’ by the Police Federation for Northern Ireland.

Under a ‘budget preparation exercise’ by senior civil servants, the PSNI stands to lose £14 million in funding on top of the £180 million already lopped off the budget in the past four years. The proposed cut to the PSNI budget could be in the region of 2% which equates to annual funding for 280 Officers.

This flies in the face of a Home Office announcement that an additional £450m in extra funding will be made available to police forces in England and Wales.

PFNI Chairman, Mark Lindsay, has strongly criticised any attempt to make the PSNI ‘the financial scapegoat’.

Mr Lindsay said: “I cannot believe senior civil servants would actually countenance such a reckless and irresponsible move. We’re already cut to the bone – there’s nothing else to give – yet once again Policing appears to be the financial scapegoat.

“We’re already facing tough times with planned recruitment falling way behind what’s required.

Hundreds of Officers are entitled to retire in the first half of 2018, and if this headlong dash to balance the books isn’t stopped in its tracks, it’s possible we will see the PSNI reduce in size to below 6,000 for the first time.

“This is a worrying development and one we will resist. We have a severe terrorist threat to our Officers, more complex crime and intolerable workplace pressures on Officers. Police officer pay has still not been addressed by the Department of Justice, despite PSNI being part of the same negotiating framework as England and Wales.

“There seems to be a failure to deal sensibly and urgently with Police funding in Northern Ireland at a time when we are witnessing the negative effects budget cuts have had on Policing nationally. Police forces in England and Wales are able to carry over savings from previous financial years, whereas the PSNI have to hand back any efficiencies they make to the Department and, in effect, have no “reserve”. Additional revenue can also be raised in England and Wales through local council taxes, which is not an option for Police funding in Northern Ireland.

“The PSNI is also under pressure to deal with an increasing number of unfunded legacy matters, which add significantly to unique financial pressures which are being loaded onto the organisation.
 
 “This suggestion of a further cut in the PSNI allocation needs to be consigned to the bin. There must be full realisation that a modern-day Police Service needs to be properly resourced.

“Instead of brutal, poorly thought-out cuts, we need politicians and civil servants to go in to bat for the PSNI rather than acquiesce or prevaricate.”

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