Statement from the Northern Ireland Policing Board - 07/09/2023

Board Chair at Desk

Following the resignation of the Chief Constable, the Board agreed a number of actions and today’s meeting was dedicated to progressing those alongside other items of urgent Board business. Aside from the current issues, policing is also facing an extremely difficult financial position that needs to be resolved including recovery and financial implications of the data breach. Recent meetings were not held in public due to the sensitive nature of the issues being discussed at this time.

The Board’s priority over the last few days has been to bring stability and confidence in what has been an unprecedented time for policing, and for our role as a Policing Board.

At this time, we also appreciate, that police officers and staff at all levels across the organisation continue to deliver an essential public service to the community and deserve everyone’s support.


Interim Arrangements for the Functions of the Chief Constable

On Monday the Board agreed a number of key steps. One was the legal requirement to urgently confirm arrangements for the office of Chief Constable and that is why the provisions of Section 34 of the Police (NI) Act 2000 were invoked as an interim measure. The Board agreed that issues around potential authority gaps needed to be established. The legal and HR basis on which those gaps could be addressed were discussed today but require further advice.


Prioritise the Recruitment of a new Chief Constable for the Police Service of Northern Ireland

Today the Board has agreed the timescale and started the process for the appointment of a new Chief Constable. The competition will open at the end of September with the selection process scheduled to complete in early November.


Review of the PSNI Service Executive Team

The Board has agreed that the review of the Senior Leadership Team now progresses with the terms of reference developed and brought to the Board for approval.


Review of the Policing Board

The Department of Justice has agreed to commission a review of how the Board discharges its legislative duties including issues raised in the Scoffield Judgment. Given the importance of the police oversight arrangements, the Board agrees this work needs to be progressed as quickly as possible through an independent process.


Moving Forward

Through discussions and engagements over the course of the last few days the Board has heard the depth of feelings held across the PSNI at all levels and within the public domain. As a Board we are committed to dealing with all the issues facing policing and will continue to do so in the best interests of policing and the community.

Whilst the Board’s primary duty is oversight and accountability it also has employer and employee legal responsibilities to fulfil and due process to follow.   At this time public commentary on confidence in individuals in the Senior Leadership Team is not endorsed by the Board.

The Board has set in place review mechanisms and other processes are underway and these must be allowed to progress and complete.



For any further information please contact the Board’s Communication’s Office on 028 90 408 500