“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.

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  • William

    I always have a giggle when I hear assorted Shinners and the odd Stoop, like wee Alex moaning about the lack of resources [i.e. police officers] in their various areas. Wee Acky was on Radio Ulster this week whingeing about not enough police in West Belfast.

    The reason for my giggle? Well, isn’t it precisely due to the assorted variety of Republican terrorists and the Stoops that there is a shortage of experienced Police officers?

    A few months ago. 4 guys I know, one of whom was a Detective Chief Supintendant and two others a Detective Sergeant and Detective Constable, together with a uniformed Sergeant left the service, which totalled 137 years !! All of them offered their continued services on rolling contracts but were told by the HR chief that no contracts could be given to them.

    So, when I hear assorted Republicans / Nationalists whinge and girn about the PSNI not turning up to crime within their area and the reason is no officers are available, I say to myself, ‘well hell rub it up the lot of you’…you wrecked the Police so do without now.’

  • Seymour Major

    The backdrop to this police resource shortage is that the NI public sector is already subsidized by the English taxpayer by a net £6.5bn a year.

    That said, the police part of public expenditure has to be given priority and more resources have to be put in at the expense of savings in other departments. It is a problem that politicians have to tackle urgently. If they dont, they are storing up greater problems for the future.

    Political control of the NI police is still in the hands of the UK Government. They have some questions to answer.

  • edward

    Hiring the nuts to run the asylum, definately nIreland

  • Todd

    Perhaps they should start phased introduction of the Gardai, maybe county by county. 🙂

  • disgusted

    would be interesting to know how many of these are officers who have been involved in controversial cases over last number of years as there was a conscious effort to allow such officers to retire meaning they could never be held accountble for such actions… also with inquiries etc so much for a new police service instead we have same police force coming in through the back door… wonder if the parties shouting about critical engagenment will highlight this?

  • Rory Carr

    What with Herself’s oft-muttered threats to “See you off, mister, if it wasn’t for the law”, this news can only serve to make our next visit to Co. Down a decidedly nervous one for me.

  • Brian Walker

    Why can’t the PSNI curtail the redundancy programme? It happens in other sectors. Does anybody know?

  • Mr Tumnus

    The PSNI cannot curtail the redundancy programme because the only way to allow recruitment of new officers is to permit the (early) retirement of experienced officers. This is because the PSNI have a ceiling on the total number of officers in the organisation.

    Anyone suggested a curtailment of the (50/50) recruitment programme would not be long in a job. Given budget pressures, and human resource limits, the PSNI is unable to increase the total number of staff.

    A large percentage of the PSNI project is focused on the politics of policing rather than the practicalities of policing. So an experienced detective leaves by one door as a wet behind the ears lad or girl arrives by another. In the short to medium term the public lose out.

  • cynic

    ” there was a conscious effort to allow such officers to retire meaning they could never be held accountble for such actions… ”

    Oh really? Where is the evidence for that? What officers were allowed to retire in this way? Have you any facts or just accusations?

  • cynic

    This doesn’t seem to just affect detectives.

    Most of the uniformed police on the streets seem to have come in post Patten….great for community relations but they still have the L Plates up.

    A classic example was a friend recently assaulted by a drunk who tried to punch him. He called PSNI who arrived after 20 mins only to tell him ah, so you lifted your arm and parried the blow and he didn’t actually land the punch on your face? In that case, it wasn’t an assault.

    He pointed out that he had been hit on the arm by this man but was told, no that wouldn’t count as the blow had been landed on his arm because he had put it in the way. They wouldn’t investigate it. Goodbye. Have a nice day sir. Polite, concerned but totally clueless.

  • Hugh Dubh Oneil

    well as we,ve seen today in the news about a PSNI computer operator leaking details of over a hundred nationalists to loyalists collusion is still an ongoing concern.personally im glad to see the back of most of these veteran detectives so many of whom were involved in it up to their necks.The 50/50 recruitment poicy is going to make it harder and harder for this to continue over time.
    “A classic example was a friend recently assaulted by a drunk who tried to punch him. He called PSNI who arrived after 20 mins only to tell him ah, so you lifted your arm and parried the blow and he didn’t actually land the punch on your face? In that case, it wasn’t an assault.

    He pointed out that he had been hit on the arm by this man but was told, no that wouldn’t count as the blow had been landed on his arm because he had put it in the way. They wouldn’t investigate it. Goodbye. Have a nice day sir. Polite, concerned but totally clueless.”An incident such as this could just as easily have happened with your precious RUC or for that matter with any policeforce in an incident where no serious harm was inflicted and the cops decide to take the easy option.

  • Hugh Dubh Oneil

    because in the glorious days of the RUC nobody was ever kicked to death by a mob in full view of officers in a landrover who then proceeded to cover it up.Must have been all the veteran uniformed poilce on the streets back then

  • Mr Tumnus

    Sadly some dweebs have decided to take the thread down the good old history trail. Pointless but predictable.

    The RUC is no more. The question is how to ensure effective policing today. Cynic’s tale does not provide much in the way of confidence and the fact that it could happen elsewhere does nothing to excuse the incompetence shown.