'Policing at crisis point' a year on from Stormont's collapse - PFNI

The Police Federation NI has said that the PSNI is at crisis point comes in terms of resources, a year on from Stormont's collapse.

'Policing at crisis point' a year on from Stormont's collapse - PFNI

6 months ago Resources

The Police Federation NI has said that the PSNI is at crisis point comes in terms of resources, a year on from Stormont's collapse.

'Policing at crisis point' a year on from Stormont's collapse - PFNI

Chief Constable George Hamilton has previously stated that he needs almost 7,000 officers in order to police Northern Ireland properly.

However, the current figure is around 6,700, and is expected to drop to 6,600 quite soon.

PFNI Chairman Mark Lindsay said it was unacceptable: "I think we're at a crisis point already.

"It takes two years for a police officer to come out of probation and to be put into specialist roles to deal with these issues.

"We're probably past the point where it needed to be done urgently."

The service is also dealing with a £20m cut to its budget last year.

And it could face around having 750 fewer officers by the end of the year, once retirements are taken into account.

That accounts for around 10% of the entire police force here.

Mr Lindsay said it is leading to more pressure being piled on serving officers.

"Police officers are seeing their workload increased to an unbearable limit," he said.

"Their work-life balance is being tipped more towards work.

"They're starting to vote with their feet and leaving."

A pay award for PSNI officers has also been delayed because of the impasse at Stormont.

"Our officers find that quite distasteful and very disturbing," said Mr Lindsay.

"At a time when they are out doing their best to protect the public and working around the clock to do this, there aren't even the mechanisms to award proper, and not even a fair pay rise, but what I would call a minimal pay rise."

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