Ulster Unionist Policing Spokesperson, Ross Hussey MLA, has stated that the PSNI cannot afford to have their budget cut any further or else the service they offer on the ground will be adversely affected.
Mr Hussey said:
“Policing is one of the areas of expenditure that cannot be reduced any further. Most of our policing 'plan' has been based on Patten which recommended a 'peace time' police establishment of 7500 officers and the use of part time officers. These elements have been completely disregarded.
“Not one more penny can be taken from our police budget, unless we want to abandon effective policing in some parts of the country. The rural community, specifically in the Tyrone and Fermanagh areas, believe there is no support for them and this was clear when there was a spate of thefts of tractors and other agricultural machinery in the Omagh and Clogher Valley areas.
“Police officers are clearly under immense stress. The pressures they are facing and the lack of support available has already been highlighted. Enough is enough.
“I firmly believe the Chief Constable cannot surrender one more penny. The time has come to say there is no more to give and to reduce funding will mean the PSNI cannot safely deliver a police service in all parts of Northern Ireland.
“There is saving money and there is giving up - taking any more money from the police is surrendering areas of Northern Ireland to those who have no respect for law and order.”