“The internal review raises a number of issues which will require more detailed discussion with the Acting Chief Constable and the senior officer team,” a board spokesperson said. Board member Basil McCrea, of the UUP, said that people will have noticed fewer officers on the beat. “This is not really a critique of the police but the environment we put the police into,” he said. “If we put them into a compliance orientated culture where there is more emphasis being placed on filling in forms about crime than actually solving crime – this is a challenge to society and the oversight bodies, not just to the police.”
Also from the BBC report
The report also highlighted concerns within the force about how policing would be governed once policing and justice powers were devolved to the NI Assembly.
“There is much uncertainty on how the tripartite relationship between the PSNI, the NIPB (Northern Ireland Policing Board) and Department of Justice will operate in practice,” it said.
The review team called for a fresh approach “to end the 9-5 culture which has developed in the organisation”.
It also said reducing budgets may mean the number of police officers may have to be reduced by 500 from the current level of 7,500.
Other issues highlighted included:
A focus on crime recording and not crime investigation.
Little discretion, or professional freedom, for officers dealing with offenders.
Officers complained of huge volumes of paperwork, with one recording a blog of his day and complaining of effectively having to work unpaid overtime to clear files.
Only 48% of crime is reported to police, with the public often thinking the police could not have achieved anything.
The report is due to be discussed at a public meeting of the Northern Ireland Policing Board next week.