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PSNI numbers at ‘dangerous’ level says Sir Hugh Orde

hugh Orde in 2008Image copyright PACEMAKER
Image caption Sir Hugh Orde was PSNI chief constable between 2002 and 2009

Former PSNI Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde has mentioned officer numbers are at a “dangerous” level within the face of elevated dissident republican assaults.

Police numbers are presently 800 beneath what was recommended when the PSNI was shaped in 2001.

Sir Hugh additionally mentioned consideration must be given to re-introducing a controversial hiring coverage to deal with low numbers of Catholic recruits.

He mentioned it’s “a shame” Catholic recruitment is slowing down.

The present chief constable, Simon Byrne, desires cash discovered to extend police numbers to the 7,500 recommended beneath Patten reforms 20 years in the past.

In September 1999, the report of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland, chaired by Lord Patten, signalled main reforms and the start of the top of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).

The Police Service of Northern Ireland changed the RUC in November 2001.

Sir Hugh led the PSNI between 2002 and 2009.

During his time there was laws which helped take the proportion of Catholics within the police from 8% to 30%.

But the laws led to 2011 and Catholics presently make up 32% of the PSNI, with a threat of it falling again quickly.

Image caption A brand new PSNI recruitment drive is to be launched in January 2020

Mr Byrne doesn’t favour the re-introduction of 50-50 recruitment – which was one Catholic recruit for each one person from a Protestant or different background.

Talking to BBC News NI, Sir High mentioned he was “really worried” by the state of affairs.

He has backed Mr Bryne’s name for extra officers, significantly at a time when New IRA and Continuity IRA assaults are on the rise.

“The threat is still there and with the current politics, and Brexit being woven into that, I think there is a real risk the threat will increase,” mentioned Sir Hugh.

“I am not persuaded the number they currently have is sufficient.”

A brand new PSNI recruitment drive is to be launched in January.

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