“I believe we can get £17m of efficiency savings..”

When it was revealed that the NIO were seeking a further £17million reduction in the cost of policing, the Policing Board Chairman, Barry Gilligan, said that the Board “were unanimous that at this time a cut of £17m is not acceptable to this board and the members of this board.” But after meeting today with the Northern Ireland Justice Minister, Paul Goggins, MP, the BBC reports that everything’s fine – [Barry Gilligan] “There is no doubt in my mind that the minister is at one with the PSNI and the board about the delivery of an effective and efficient police service to the people of Northern Ireland.” And the cuts will still be made.

Mr Goggins was speaking after meeting Policing Board Chairman Barry Gilligan and ACC Judith Gillespie. [Paul Goggins] said: “I believe we can get £17m of efficiency savings whilst getting more police officers on the front line.” The NIO has said the cuts are needed as part of a government drive to save £5bn in the next financial year.

“We had a very constructive discussion about how best to spend the £1.2bn that the PSNI have each year,” Mr Goggins added. “I have agreed to make sure the NIO continues to provide the necessary resources so we combat the terrorist threat from the dissidents and, at the same time, the PSNI will continue with their strategic review to see if there are more efficient and effective ways of spending that considerable amount of money.”