28/06/2013

PSNI Has Been Left 'Fatigued' - Report

The PSNI has been left 'fatigued' by recent civil disorder and rioting, according to a report.

Despite the number of riot police having almost halved since decommissioning in 2000, the report found that heightened tensions surrounding loyal order parades and union flag protests have increased the workload piled on public order police units.

The Criminal Justice Northern Ireland report said: "In the absence of an overall comprehensive strategic threat and risk assessment, it is impossible to say whether the reductions in TSGs (Tactical Support Groups or riot police) were entirely justified.

"It may well be that they were justified or indeed inevitable in the circumstances, given the significant pressures to reform and achieve efficiencies and normalisation.

"But the envisaged peaceful situation which was referred to by the Independent Commission on Policing in 1999 does not reflect the current policing environment."

The report also showed that the PSNI was experiencing an ageing workforce and injuries or restrictions on duty.

"Inspectors also heard clear evidence of some disquiet that the public order capacity had been stretched in recent years," it said.

"Various interviewees expressed the view that requests for public order support were often reduced to meet the available resource, rather than meeting the operational requirements.

"Senior officers also acknowledged the fact that some parts of the organisation were 'fatigued' by recent deployments and events."

(IT/JP)

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