“Some policing projects will be affected..”

The Belfast Telegraph reports that, due to budget constraints, the recruitment of the Police Community Support Officers “will not progress this year” – as provided for in the Policing (Miscellaneous Provisions) (NI) Order 2007 introduced in January 2007 [What about the policing precept? – Ed]. There had been some speculation about those locally-recruited community police units.. in the absence of effective restorative justice schemes.. Although there was, apparently, additional resources for the West Belfast Community Confidence Safety Forum..

The PSNI said that the Comprehensive Spending Review — the method by which Government allocates money to the public sector — seeks to set police budgets for the next three financial years and that the force is legally required to achieve a balanced budget. “There is a shortfall of £88.8m revenue — the day-to-day cost of policing — between what the service considered an appropriate and necessary level of funding to continue to drive forward change and improvements in policing and the allocation. There is also a shortfall in capital funding,” a spokesman said.

More from the Belfast Telegraph report

“Despite the fact that there is a shortfall over the next three years, the police service will continue to work with communities and their representatives to provide the best possible policing service. However, such are the demands facing the Police Service that some difficult choices have had to be made.

“Some policing projects will be affected, including the recruitment of the Police Community Support Officers, which will not progress this year. There will also be a reduction in police overtime. We will all work hard to ensure that the budget proposals will have a minimal impact on front line policing. We must continue to do more with less but endeavour to provide a first class policing service for all the people of Northern Ireland.”