Interim Chief Constable decision on JR ‘positive and most welcome’
The interim Chief Constable Jon Boutcher’s decision not to appeal the Ormeau Road Judicial Review Judgement has been hailed as a ‘positive and most welcome’ development.
PFNI Chair Liam Kelly said: “It is hugely heartening for our officers that within twenty-four hours of formally taking up his position, the interim Chief Constable has ruled out legally challenging this Judgement.
“That Judgment found that the former Chief Constable and the Deputy Chief Constable had acted unlawfully in disciplining two probationary officers who were involved in the Ormeau Road commemoration during lockdown in February 2021.
“I have personally spoken to both officers and this decision has come as a great relief both to them and indeed their colleagues in the wider Service. They were found to have been scapegoated for real or perceived political reasons and were treated disgracefully. Thankfully, Mr Boutcher has taken this very significant step to right the wrong.
“I had an initial discussion with Mr Boutcher and he told me that he wants to personally meet the two officers and apologise to them for what happened and the manner in which they were treated.
“This is a most welcome outcome. What the interim Chief Constable has demonstrated so early in his term-in-office is that he is listening and acting decisively on the concerns we have raised. In my view he couldn’t have made a better start to his role at the helm of this Service which is in dire need of strong leadership and direction.
“Mr Boutcher still faces an uphill task of tackling plummeting officer morale, a dire budgetary situation, a ‘freeze’ on recruitment and declining officer numbers. This positive and most welcome decision is a major statement of intent to our men and women and he is to be applauded for his swift action.”