Speaking about the Resourcing position, Policing Board Chair Deirdre Toner said:
“Members of the Policing Board (Resources Committee) have today been briefed by the Deputy Chief Constable and the Chief Operating Officer on the resourcing and delivery implications of financial pressures facing the Police Service in this financial year and in future years.
Over the last year, the Board has been deeply concerned about the funding shortfall for policing and the implications of this, particularly in respect of numbers and service impact. The Board fully supported the Chief Constable in seeking to secure an improved financial settlement from the Department of Justice for the Police Service. However, without additional monies , the outworkings of budgetary pressures on officer and staff numbers has now been outlined in stark detail along with an assessment of the extent of the impact across a range of areas.
The Chief Constable and his leadership team have worked to protect key areas, but the service assessment is clear that these levels of reductions will undoubtedly be felt within policing, within partner agencies and within particular aspects of service delivery to the community. These will only become fully known as we go forward.
Despite the reductions confirmed, it is important to note that there is still a significant resource available to policing in Northern Ireland so the Board, like the Chief Constable, would want to assure the public of the commitment within policing and within the Board to doing the best with what we have. We are all very aware of the importance of policing within our community, and the wide range of work that the service delivers.
Whilst today’s announcement confirms a position we hoped could have been avoided, our focus now has to be on continuing to work with the Chief Constable and his team on minimising the organisational risks to policing going forward, alongwith supporting the change and restructuring now required as a result of these financial pressures.”
The Board will be discussing this matter further with the Chief Constable at the Board meeting on 2 February 2023.