The Ulster Unionist Party’s Policing Spokesperson, Alan Chambers MLA, has said that the public is more concerned with results than reports when it comes to policing matters.
Alan Chambers, who is a former RUC Part-Time Reservist said:
“The Northern Ireland Audit Office report – ‘Continuous improvement arrangements in policing’ - is an annual one which examines the performance summary of the Policing Board and the PSNI in 2016/17 and the Policing Plan for 2017/.18.
“The bottom line is that no matter what boxes are ticked or targets met, nobody can seriously argue that all is well in the PSNI and that we should simply ‘carry on regardless.’
“Successive budget cuts have done real damage and we cannot get away from the fact that this is a Police or service that is seriously short of numbers. The Patten Report recommended that the PSNI should have 7,500 officers plus an enlarged Part Time Reserve of up to 2,500 officers.
“Given that the PSNI’s own website says it has 6,689 officers as at 1 February 2018, it is clear that the PSNI is seriously under-staffed, and the force is only operating due to extensive use of overtime.
“This shows the dedication and professionalism of our officers and their commitment to the job they do, and it does them great credit. Overtime and good will alone are standing between an effective and an ineffective police service.
“It is clear that some police officers’ morale is close to breaking point and stress and sickness levels are increasing. As the PSNI workload increases it is clear that their numbers and their budget is reducing to a point where we either have to invest in the PSNI or accept a reduction in services. We need a report that will say that.”