PFNI reacts to resignation of Chief Constable

The Chair of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland, Liam Kelly, says the Chief Constable’s position became questionable and then untenable.

PFNI reacts to resignation of Chief Constable

10 months ago Members News

The Chair of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland, Liam Kelly, says the Chief Constable’s position became questionable and then untenable.

PFNI reacts to resignation of Chief Constable

 

Mr. Kelly states: “The Ormeau Rd Judicial Review and the shocking potential course of action following the Policing Board was the final straw for Mr Byrne. The ruling was damning, and his initial acceptance followed by a volte face around a potential legal appeal grievously undermined his credibility and authority to lead the PSNI. It called into question his judgement, decision-making abilities and made his position untenable.

“Mr Byrne has now done the right thing. It is clear now that a full investigation is required into these matters to determine whether anyone else should be held to account for this fiasco for policing. This was an operational matter which should have been the exclusive responsibility of the Service, free from political or external pressure or, indeed, interference. 

“Morale has never been lower in the Service. There is a serious and worrying disconnect between those in leadership roles and the men and women from all community backgrounds who are the rank-and-file. Whoever succeeds Mr Byrne has a mountain to climb to address the cultural deficiencies, re-build confidence and restore credibility. The Police Federation stands ready to work collaboratively to assist in making that happen.

“There is also the damaging perception that regulations are applied unequally and disproportionately. Our officers bear the brunt of disciplinary actions whereas those in senior positions are seemingly rarely subject to the same investigative processes and sanctions.

“On a personal level, Mr Byrne has always been approachable and courteous. He has provided over 40 years of policing service to the communities across the United Kingdom. I do not doubt his commitment and attempts to build a modern, strong, community-focused Service during his tenure in Northern Ireland. However, he was frustrated from the outset by the failure of Government to properly finance the PSNI and provide him with the tools and resources needed to do the job. I know this is not the way he envisaged his police career would end. I wish Mr Byrne and his family well for the future.”

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