12/02/2003

Civilian PSNI recruitment set to free up more front-line officers

Up to 650 civilians are to be recruited into the PSNI over the next two years in a bid to free up officers for front-line duty, the Policing Board has announced today.

The campaign, which has been launched today, represents a key stage in the civilianisation of the PSNI – which forms part of the Patten Recommendations. There are currently just over 3,200 civilian employees in the PSNI.

Speaking today Policing Board Chairman, Professor Desmond Rea, said: “Working in support of front-line policing offers prospects for a rewarding and challenging career. The wide range of job opportunities for civilians to work in support of the police provides an opportunity for everyone within the community to play a part in making the community a safer place to live.

"But whatever the job, there are opportunities right across Northern Ireland and these jobs represent a major boost to local areas.”

SDLP Policing Board member Alex Attwood said: "This measure, and the labour resource plan agreed by the Chief Constable and Policing Board, will see less sickness, more officers on the ground and more police serving local communities.

"The civilianisation of the PSNI also is evidence of the Policing Board bringing about a normal police service and society."

Acting Assistant Chief Constable for Belfast, Maggie Hunter, said this was "excellent news for everyone who wanted to make our community safer".

ACC Hunter said: “Civilians already play an important role in the delivery of a policing service. These 650 new posts will enhance that contribution. But the icing on the cake is that this welcome boost to our civilian staffing numbers will substantially increase the number of officers available to commanders for deployment at the front end of our service delivery, whether that’s in criminal investigation, crime prevention, roads policing or community partnership. Every additional officer we can get out from behind a desk and back onto patrol is going to make a difference in the fight against crime.”

The board said that jobs within the PSNI would offer attractive salaries, terms and conditions of service, flexible working arrangements and comprehensive training and career development prospects.

Grafton Recruitment will carry out the recruitment process.

(GMcG)

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