UUP Cautiously Welcomes Extra PSNI Funding Ahead Of Brexit

The Ulster Unionist Party has welcomed the announcement of additional funding for the PSNI as part of Brexit preparation grants, but warned the force is still falling short of recommended staffing levels.

Alan Chambers MLA was speaking after the Treasury's £16million budget boost on Wednesday 19 December, which PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton said will be used to fund an extra 308 officers.

The UUP's spokesperson for policing issued a cautious welcome to the news, but expressed concern over the dangerously low staffing levels.
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He said: "This does not address the major problems facing the PSNI in terms of staffing levels or repair the damage caused by successive budget cuts. Nor can we get away from the fact that this is a Police service that is seriously short of numbers.

"The Patten Report recommended that the PSNI should have 7,500 officers plus an enlarged Part Time Reserve of up to 2,500 officers.

"Given that its own website said it has 6,638 officers as of 01 December 2018, it is clear that it is seriously under-staffed, and only operating due to extensive use of overtime and the dedication and professionalism of our officers and their commitment to the job they do.

"The 308 officers that can be recruited as a result of this additional funding are very welcome, but many more are needed to ensure the PSNI has the numbers it needs to provide the full range of services which the public expects and deserves."


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