30/09/2014

300 Temporary PSNI Posts To Go

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has said 300 temporary agency posts are to close at the end of the year.

In a statement, the PSNI said they had informed recruitment agency Grafton that they would not be extending their contract. The move means that all temporary workers who were employed under the contract, will not have their roles renewed beyond the 31 December 2014.

More than 300 posts across the organisation will be affected by the cuts, including the Historical Enquiries Team (HET).

The PSNI has said the decision not to renew its contract with Grafton Recruitment is because it needs to cut around £50m, or 7%, from this year's financial budget.

Commenting, Deputy Chief Constable Alistair Finlay, said: "Today's news will have an impact on a large number of people. It's not a pleasant situation to be in. While this is a difficult decision, it is a necessary one. We simply cannot engage the services of people that we cannot afford."
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In relation to the HET, DCC Finlay added: "With cuts of this magnitude, as a Police Service, our immediate obligations must be towards keeping people safe today. The loss of these posts by the end of the year will effectively mean the closure of HET.

"In the last number of weeks, we have made it clear that the current financial challenges would mean there would be change in how PSNI responds to the demands of the past and the pace at which we can service the demand.

"The PSNI understands the importance of dealing with past and that a huge deal of hurt and pain continues for the many people affected by our troubled history. If we are to achieve a safe, confident and peaceful society, dealing with the past is an issue that our society must address. However, achieving a solution lies well beyond the remit of policing."

Mr Finlay said the PSNI would continue to meet its "legislative responsibilities with regards to the past", including fresh investigations where "new and compelling evidence" emerges.

He also said a "much smaller" Legacy Investigations Branch would be established.

"In recent weeks we have met with the Policing Board to discuss this challenge and we will continue to work with them as we progress the issue," he said.

(JP/CD)

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