Someone at PSNI headquarters has clearly counted the Catholics and found their numbers wanting, now we are about half way through the ten year period of the 50/50 recruitment policy. Yet, when the Patten Report recommended, in clause 15.8, that the PSNI “should advertise imaginatively and persistently, particularly in places likely to reach groups who are underrepresented in the police” few forsaw just far “beyond Northern Ireland they would go”. 12% of the latest recruits are from the local Polish community, but Tony Connelly reported on RTE last night from Warsaw, where the PSNI are recruiting directly from Poland.
Our model envisages that 370 officer recruits will be taken each year on average (the maximum would be 440). 185 of these would be Catholic and 185 would be “Protestant or undetermined” (the present categories used by the RUC). This would, incidentally, be a slightly higher level of Protestant recruitment than at present (172) as well as a much higher level of Catholic recruitment.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty