Final year for 50:50 PSNI recruitment?

Northern Ireland Justice Minister, Paul Goggins, MP, has announced that

The Government is to consult on the 50:50 PSNI recruitment provisions, and intends to renew this legislation in March 2010 for a further, final year.

From the statement


The Police (NI) Act 2000 provides for the Secretary of State to legislate to renew the temporary provisions. Before doing so, he is required to consider the progress that has been made towards achieving a police service which is representative of the Northern Ireland Community. He is also required to consult the Policing Board.

The temporary provisions of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000, the Race Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1997 and the Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 will expire on 28 March 2010.

In considering whether to renew the provisions, the Secretary of State must take account of progress towards the achievement of a representative police service. An Order under Section 47(3) of the 2000 Act to renew all or any of the provisions would be subject to debates and affirmative resolution in both Houses of Parliament.

This is the third review of the temporary provisions which were last renewed in March 2007.

A wide range of interested parties will be consulted between now and 22 January.

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  • iluvni

    why wasnt the immediate scrapping of this disgraceful piece of legislation at the top of the DUP’s shopping list?
    Its more important than friggin parades.

  • BonarLaw


    discrimination in police recruitment will not be lawful after March 2011. Prisoner releases aside, this is the most obnoxious hangover from 1998 and it is going.

  • ciaran

    Hmmm. This “disgraceful” legislation has helped make the psni a lot more acceptable to the nationlist community, maybe this is what makes it “disgraceful” to some.

  • ulsterfan

    I hope all those young non Catholic applicants kept details of their applications because the flood gates for claims for compensation on the grounds of discrimination will soon be open.
    The Government may have not been so smart to get exemption from liability.

  • Mark Knopfler

    Typical Nordie gie uz munay fair nathin’

  • Jud

    Anyone know the percentage of catholics in the PSNI at this stage?

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Maybe some of Slugger’s grandees could enlighten us as to the percentage of’Roman Catholics’ in the previous British paid/led/armed police force in Ireland. They were highly thought of too. If the foreigners pay you and arm you and give you orders then, de facto, you are a British police force. If this doesn’t trouble you then join up ion your thousands but remember the RIC.

  • Garza

    Jud, I think it arounf 30-35% catholics.

    I didn’t agree with it at the time, but 50:50 was necessary to get the nationalist community behind the police. Sometimes you have to do a little evil (discrimination) to do alot of good.

  • Panic This one likes it up him.

    Should’nt there be more Catholics in the PSNI now and for a good long time into the future to equalise for what went on in the past

  • andrew white

    Should’nt there be more Catholics in the PSNI now and for a good long time into the future to equalise for what went on in the past
    Posted by Panic This one likes it up him. on Oct 30, 2009 @ 06:20

    Do you mean the systematic murder of Catholic police officers by Sinn Fein in order to deter nationalists from joining?

  • Panic This one likes it up him.

    Reply to andrew white

    yeah that and everthing else.

    More and more catholics please

  • Ruairi Og

    I’ve been suprised at some of the lads from my nationalist community who’ve joined the PSNI – something that would’ve been unthinkable before this and other reforms.

    I wish them well in a way that I wouldn’t have had they joined the RUC.

    The policing service, like the many aspects of the rest of the place is moving on and making progress.

    F**k the begrudgers

  • BonarLaw


    but according to the Shinners there are the wrong sort and right sort of catholics.

    Which do you prefer?

  • Intelligence Insider

    Anyone like to comment on how crime detection rates have fallen from being the best in the U.K. when we had the R.U.C.G.C. to now being amongst the worst in Europe since 50/50 and the introduction of the P.S.N.I.?

  • Yokel


    This has little to do with the recruitment under 50:50 in itself and much to do with

    a) a totallty changed polcing situation whereby you had the cops (and miltary) all over the place.

    b) Theres a lot less feet on the street

    c) Ever greater regulations governing polcing

    d) The stripping out of a fair number of experienced officers after Patton. Some retired properly, some went and worked somewhere else and others cross decked to the Security Service.

  • Cahal

    “Anyone know the percentage of catholics in the PSNI at this stage?”

    About 4 times the percentage of nationalists. Based on my small sample of 4 catholic coppers (1 uup, 2 alliance, 1 sdlp voter).

    That’s probably typical.

  • Gerta

    Who cares? Let 50/50 run on for ever. Can’t see why any Prod would want to join this institutionally sectarian organisation.

    Give it a few more years and the PSNI will be as balanced as the Swiss Guard.

  • Stormin Jim

    It’s the professionalism of the new police that I’m impressed by. Parked up the other day when a cop car pulls into a disabled parking bay. Two guys in the car, one gets out (looking like a bag of sh*t tied together in the middle) and walks off into Starbucks.

    A few minutes later old guy in a car showing a blue badge arrives. Cop in the car is busy texting or playing a game on his mobile, he signals ‘5 minutes’ to the old guy who then has to drive off because of the traffic.

    Cop 2 emerges from Starbucks with coffee and buns and the pair start slurping and munching, happily still parked in the disabled bay.

  • Intelligence Insider

    I think it might have a lot to do with starting to discriminate on who could join the “service” and stopping recruiting on the merit principle. The results really speak for themselves.

  • paddy

    it doesnt matter about 50/50 a peelers still a peeler

  • Intelligence Insider

    It matters when we let people join the police beacuse of their religion rather than their ability to do the job. Before 50/50 the R.U.C.G.C. caught more criminals per crime committed than the current P.S.N.I. ever have. It really makes me think that most republicans don’t want crimes solved because so many of them are criminals themselves.

  • Sean

    II you might have even had a point but then you went right back to unionist stereo typing

    Why not call them soap dodgers

  • ciaran

    II Surely the applicants still have to be of a certain standard regardless of their religon. Or do you know differently II ? And as for the ruc’s better detection rate , I had cause to contact them on a few occasions and never heard a word back from them, but when I have had to contact the psni they have been very good, with an immediate response and follow up.

  • Jim


    Can we have some figures on the poor performance of the PSNI?

    Also can you or someone else put up the large number of both Catholic and Protestant candidates who did not get into the PSNI?

    From memory it was at least 10 candidates to every one place.

    I agree in your general point of not liking enforced 50/50 but liking the end result. However two small points to make.

    From 18 to 32 Catholics are a majority in the NI population so it actually discrimates against them in this age range. Now i am aware that the PSNI recruits up to late middle age but im guessing most recruits would be in this age range to pursue a long career in the service.

    If you are a man you have a better chance that a woman to gain training as a teacher or a social worker. In the ads it is clearly stated that it will be looked kindly on. vice-versa for women in other careers and religion in certain companies. Why are Bonar Law, II and iluvni not talking about this?

  • Intelligence Insider

    R.U.C.G.C, average clearance rate = 42%
    P.S.N.I., average clearance rate = 23.6%

    The figures are available to all who want to search for them. Also, crimes committed when a witness declines to give evidence are now declared as “cleared” which did not occur in the time of the R.U.C.G.C.. I think the figures speak for themselves!

  • Jim


    I have no reason to disbelieve you but throw us a link for those figures please. Would you agree with Sir Hugh Orde that the PSNI is getting top quality recruits from both communities? Surely if you have ten candidates for every job you have a fair chance of a good candidate. The service has undergone massive changes in the past decade and is unique qmong the various services in the UK and Republic of Ireland with the level of political violence that it faces and also politicians of both sides still trying to own it or boss it.

    What do you feel about the other two points that i mentioned to Garza?

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Intelligence Insider

    Don’t tell me…………………..I bet that your house is cleaner than those fenian PSNI officers?!?!


  • Jim


    I cant think of many other reasons for the PSNI supposed poor performance. You hit the nail on the head.


    Give the man a chance to prove his point. I feel we will wait a long time for him to prove his point that catholic candidates are not of the same quality.

  • Intelligence Insider

    The figures for the R.U.C.G.C. are available in ‘Policing Northern Ireland: Conflict, legitimacy and reform’
    by Aogán Mulcahy (2006′.

    The author also states “The RUC’s clearance rate for recorded crimes peaked in 1988 at 45.1 per cent…Throughout the conflict, its clearance rates usually were higher than rates in Britain, although they dropped significantly following the restructuring associated with the 1999 Patten Report”

    From the PSNI website “The clearance rate
    for sectarian crimes was 15.2% (+0.8 percentage points), for racist crimes it was 12.5% (up
    +1.1 percentage points), for homophobic crimes it was 21.6% (up 5.9 percentage points),
    for disability crime it was 14.3% (up 2.4 percentage points) and for transphobic crimes it
    was 50.0% (up 50 percentage points). The clearance rate for faith/religion crimes was
    11.4%, 4.7 percentage points lower than the 16.1% achieved in 2007/08.”

    And, “The overall clearance rate during 2007/08 was 20.5%, 3.1 percentage points lower than that
    achieved in the previous year.”

    I have never stated that “catholic candidates are not of the same quality” Jim, simply that when candidates where selected on the merit principle rather than due to their religion the clearance rate was much better.

  • Intelligence Insider

    sean, how very wrong you are. The biggest factor putting off catholics from joining the R.U.C. was that they were very likely to be murdered by terrorist scumbags from within their own communityclearly. Diplock courts were only for scheduled terrorist crimes, the figures I have quoted were for all crimes.

  • Jamiroquoi

    If there were 2 transphobia crimes last year and 1 was solved and 3 this year with 2 solved that would be a 50% increase

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    “I didn’t agree with it at the time, but 50:50 was necessary to get the nationalist community behind the police. Sometimes you have to do a little evil (discrimination) to do alot of good.”

    Sounds like a very bad case of – attitude change based on reflection on unfolding events.

  • Sean

    Yes II and I remember all the stories about how the Catholics that did join were welcomed with open arms and made to feel at home. They were given promotions and positions of trust and generally celebrated warmly

    And then I woke up from that dream

  • Intelligence Insider

    Sean, Chief Constable Sir James Flanagan, Deputy Chief Constable Michael McAtamney, Assistant Chief Constable Cathal Ramsey, Chief Superintendent Frank Lagan, Superintendents Kevin Sheehy and Brendan McGuigan, just a few of the many brave catholic R.U.C. officers who were well promoted.

  • Panic, These ones likes it up them.

    How many Catholics in the upper echelons of the PSNI. We need a good few years with Catholics running the show for a change.

  • Intelligence Insider

    Strange how none of the defenders of discrimination and those who would seek to portray catholics as not promotable aren’t coming back now that both names and figures have been produced!

  • Jim


    Thanks for the figures I will have a good look at your links TM. Work and all that today.

    You know as well as i do that over 10 catholics and Protestants apply for places in the service. Yes Protestants make up 60 percent vs 40 percent of Catholic candidates but with the many candidates that apply the merit principle is not being lost.

    Your point would be correct if this was the situation: 220 candidates 110 Protestant and others 110 Catholic. Applicants 3000 Protestant and 300 Catholic. You and I know this is not how it is. Merit is still this most important criteria for working in the service.I am unsure if you were including me in your last post above. However you never came back to me in the earlier post to Garza. Again if you are under 32 in 2009 then Catholics are not getting special treatment. Most candidates are under 32. Again I say to you and Sean stop trying to own or boss the police.

  • Intelligence Insider

    Jim, from a 2007 Belfast Telegraph article;

    “More than 700 police recruits have been rejected from the PSNI since it was set up because they are not Catholic.

    The men and woman had all made it through the recruitment process but were then rejected under the terms of the 50:50 policing agreement.”

    On your 18-32 argument, the last P.S.N.I. equality impact assessment stated that the majority of successful applicants were in the 30 to 35 age group.

    From over 65000 applicants to the P.S.N.I. up to 2008 31.5% were from catholics, 64% from protestants, the remaining 4.5% classed as others or none. 50% of those appointed were catholics, 50% protestant or other. How can that be anything other than discriminatory?

  • Jim


    yes it is positive discrimination and it is also ending in 2011. The Catholic share of the service will be 30percent. Still well below the Catholic share of the working population. Again your figures show that many Catholics would have missed out. Only places for 200 Catholics in each yearly intake. Well over 10 Catholic candidates for each place in their share of the intake. It was a neccessary evil at the time to gain support from the Nationalist/Republican comunity. Again Postive discrimination goes on in many workplaces and many careers as I mentioned. However there is no Unionist outcry over this?

    It is curious that Both Unionists and militant Republicans want to limit Catholics recruitment to the PSNI. I firmly believe that with more experience for the officers then the clear-up rate will improve. Again less officers and soldiers would help the criminals to get away with more crime. Also the end of most paramilitary policing on their areas would also have an effect of increasing the confidence of the ODC.

  • fin

    II, interesting list of Catholic RIC/RUC officers, many involved in policing at the heart of NI, one I recognised as offering good advice which was ignored on Bloody Sunday, another I recognise as revealing in court the RUCs shoot to kill training (but hushed up) and if I recall Sheehy was drummed out of the RUC for exposing police collusion with unionist terrorists.

    II, did you struggle to find catholic members or purposely chose people like Sheehy (BTW I recommend his book) my ex-neighbour Joe Campbell was also in the RUC until he stopped a bullet, his family always claimed it was an inside job.

  • Damp Squib

    A recruitment ratio based on religious beliefs doesn’t seem seem appropriate. If the last census is to be believed, 14.18% of the population stated that they had no religion or other, not xtian, beliefs. Why the Police force/service has to be made up of sheeplike folk who follow a Middle Eastern death cult is beyond me.

    If we must have religious people policing us then the percentage should be 43% RC, 43% P, 15% sensible people capable of independent thought and 1% other. A more relevant screening process might include the questions,
    “Have you been told, by men in frocks, that a dead person can come back to life, chat with his mates and then tootle off skyward?”
    “Do you believe this?”
    “How do you think this will affect your performance as a Police Person?”

  • Damp Squib

    To Damp Squib

    Beggar that, hit the 5 instead of the 3. 13% I mean, 13%! On the other hand, 102% might be interesting…

  • Billy


    “The biggest factor putting off catholics from joining the R.U.C. was that they were very likely to be murdered by terrorist scumbags from within their own communityclearly”

    Absolute shite! This garbage is perpetrated by Unionists like you who try to make out that there was no discrimation and/or collusion with “Loyalist” terrorists in the RUC.

    I think you’ll find that this has all been proven.

    I was born and bred in West Belfast during the troubles. Neither I nor any of my friends had any time for IRA terrorism – in those days we would all have been SDLP voters.

    However, none of us would have dreamed of joining the RUC. It was rightly perceived as a Protestant force for a Protestant people that enforced the “law” differently dependant on one’s religion.

    I never met 1 Catholic\Nationalist who didn’t distrust the RUC and particularly the UDR. None of us would have dreamed of joining the RUC – it was nothing to do with fear of the IRA, it was because we were only interested in a police service of the people for the people – the RUC was never that.

    Although the Patten reforms took a while to get going – I wasn’t at all surprised at the amount of Catholics who applied to the PSNI.

    Many people are interested in a career in the Police. Once the opportunity of joining a police force where no-one judged you by your religion and where the law would be applied equally to everyone came along – many Nationlist young people applied.

    They simply weren’t interested in the RUC because none of the above was true about it.

    Unlike you, I know what I’m talking about because I was a young Nationalist in West Belfast at that time. You are simnply spouting nonsense based on your own narrow agenda.

    I know that all open-minded people (including many Unionists) would accept the truth.

    If you want to delude yourself, go ahead. I’m sure that you have some like-minded friends who share your narrow minded agenda.

    Just don’t think you’re fooling the vast majority of open-minded people because you’re not.

  • Bitty

    Utter sh*t! Simply a rehash of provo anti police spin. Its not a good idea to get your history from Republican News.

    It is sad that republican lies were so easily accepted by a large percentage of the catholic community. However not surprising given that that same community happily voted for the provos in suits as fellow citizens were being murdered daily.

  • Brian MacAodh

    Affirmative action type discrimination was a necessary evil. A police force that represented the nationalists as well as unionists was needed to bring this place peace.

    The nationalists interests and safety came a distant 2nd in the policies of the police long before the birth of the Provos. Unequal treatment was the norm.

  • DC

    This is a shabby and bigoted piece of legislation that attempts to deal with the challenges of the future using the prejudices of the past.

    The reason the RUC was underrepresented in Catholics was the same as why the IRA was underrepresented in Protestants.

  • Billy


    I got my information from living through the troubles as a Catholic youth. When I was 7 we were burnt out of our house in a mixed estate by a “loyalist” mob while the RUC stood idly by.

    Don’t patronise Catholics! Despite what you like to think, we’re not stupid.

    No-one fed us lies. The bigotry within the RUC and the collusion with “Loyalist” terrorists has been well documented.

    None of ny friends had any time for the IRA. However we could all see the RUC and particularly the UDR for what they were. That’s why there was very little if any Catholic enlistment in the RUC.

    Isn’t it odd that thousands of Catholics applied to join the PSNI once the hated RUC were gone and the oversight commissioner was brought in to ensure that the discrimination of the past was nor repeated.

    That doesn’t quite fit in with your bigotted little scenario does it?

    Incidentally, Sinn Fein only started to gain major electoral success and overtake the SDLP once the IRA were on ceasefire and packing up.

    Your comments on the Catholic community show your feelings about us clearly.

    Any sensible person reading this will realise that you’re hardly knowledgable about the Nationalist/Catholic community (whereas I am) and that your views are hardly impartial and should be taken with a barrel of salt.

  • DC

    “No-one fed us lies. The bigotry within the RUC and the collusion with “Loyalist” terrorists has been well documented.”

    Yea matched only by its co-equal the IRA who had deployed a more sophisticated form of bigoted sectarianism. Some might say the RUC’s nemesis.

    Isn’t it extraordinary that if you remove hate and violence out of the equation re the IRA winding up and the RUC going, a little bit out of sync mind you, that situational experiences that of peace tends to work miracles in changing outlooks, than say bigoted legislation that compels police recruiters to drag recruits based on their religion alone through to the final recruitment stages.

    Talk about using stereotypes to fight stereotypes, but the changing dynamics of peace seem to be left out of this equation not to mention the fact that such recruitment processes favour middle-classes, who have their own unique tendencies and outlook on things as well. What i’m saying is that too much on the bureaucratic/regulation side can’t be good for only certain people tend to fit that bill, regardless of religion i might add which can lead to its own set of problems further on down the line.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    The bigots really, really don’t like equality!

  • Intelligence Insider

    I’ll let the figures do the speaking. I’ll not bother responding to the naked sectarianism evident in “Billy”‘s post, anyone reading it can see the hatred and lies within his post.

  • Billy


    At no point did I defend the IRA or any form of Republican terrorism. The point in question was about why Catholics didn’t join the RUC. I simply gave my opinion, based on growing up in West Belfast during those years, as to why this was the case.


    I think your posts are more in tune with naked sectarianism than mine will ever be. Isn’t it funny how your view of feelings within the Nationalist community during the troubles are more knowledgable than mine although I (and my brothers and friends) all grew up in that community while you obviously didn’t.

    The fact is that Unionists love to see the RUC as an impartial force that didn’t collude with “loyalist” terrorists etc. You love to believe that loads of Catholics wanted to join the RUC but didn’t because of the IRA.

    Whether you like it or not, that simply isn’t true. None of my family or friends supported violence. However, we didn’t trust the RUC and would never have dreamed of joining it until action was taken to clean it up.

    Oddly enough, when it was scrapped and the PSNI came into being with the associated oversight rules, there were thousands of applications from Catholicvs\Nationalists.

    Does that educate you at all?

  • Franklin

    Billy it’s best when you’re in a bigotry hole to stop digging.

    If as you claim you ‘lived in West Belfast’ you must have been aware of the many police officers murdered on your doorstep. Happy to ignore murder were you? Or was your attitude one of ‘they deserved it’?

    The morals of the West Belfast citizen were clearly demonstrated when two people were dragged from a car, stripped, beaten, thrown over a wall and then shot.

    This did not happen in the dead of night with one or two involved rather it was the middle of the day with hundreds milling about.

    Seems your education is a bit lacking.