07/02/2003

New police training college gets go ahead

The Northern Ireland Policing Board has set in motion plans to introduce a new police training college for the PSNI by 2007.

The college has been advocated for months by PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde who said that the move was essential if Northern Ireland were to develop a world-renowned police force.

At it’s monthly meeting, the Board considered the PSNI Business Case for the new training college and agreed that the proposal should now be submitted to the Northern Ireland Office with the Board’s full endorsement.

Commenting on the decision, Northern Ireland Policing Board chairman, Professor Desmond Rea said: “The Board believes that the establishment of a new police training college is an absolute necessity in order to ensure that the PSNI have a world-class training facility for a modern, first-class police service.

"The decision taken today brings the college another step closer to reality and I certainly welcome that. The matter must be treated as a high priority."

The Policing Board has a statutory responsibility to consider the training, education and development requirements of police officers and police support staff. Prof Rea said the Board saw the training college as one of the cornerstones of the new police service and was keen to push ahead with the project to ensure completion in 2007.

“The timescale we have set ourselves is ambitious, but achievable. Our police training college working group is working hard to ensure that progress is maintained. There is no scope for slippage on this and the Board will be asking the NIO to make a decision quickly,” he added.

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