“The situation is likely to get worse..”

One of the many Orders in Council of recent times included “the reintroduction of legislative provisions to enable PSNI to address an acute shortage of detective constables by way of the recruitment of experienced constables with the required skills from other forces”. Fast forward to today and the BBC NI’s Vincent Kearney reports that they are now using other methods to address a still existing shortage.

The situation is so bad that the police currently employ 79 staff provided by a recruitment agency – most of them former police officers who retired with generous redundancy packages [under the Patten reforms].

The situation is likely to get worse with 244 experienced officers eligible to leave under Patten by the end of March 2011 – and most are expected to go.

The Policing Board has given the police permission to fast track the training and recruitment of intelligence officers to work as detectives – but they know that alone will not fill the recruitment gap.