Call for additional police officers justified

Alliance Party representative on the Policing Board, John Blair MLA, has said the call from the Chief Constable for 800 additional police officers should be supported.

John Blair said: “Recently we have seen the vital role the PSNI play in protecting the community from evil people who want to return to violence. Through my role as a member of the Policing Board, I am aware of the pressures on the Chief Constable, Simon Byrne, as he manages the resources available to him.

“Alliance Party representatives meet regularly with the Chief Constable and we fully support his call for the recruitment of additional officers to bring numbers up to 7500. In addition to the changing nature of the threat from dissidents, police officers are dealing with the growing problems of cyber and hate crime. Increased demands on policing need increased resources.

“The Chief Constable has indicated he would use additional resources to reach out to communities. I believe community policing is key to defeating the threat from paramilitary groups as local people can see the benefits from supporting local police.

“Any additional recruitment will present a further and vital opportunity to address representativeness and inclusion and develop a police service reflecting our diverse society.”

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