The largest public sector union in Northern Ireland is taking legal action against the PSNI following the award of a £180m contract to a private security company.
The Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (Nipsa) says PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott has no right to award the major contract to Resource NI for 1,000 police support roles.
Nipsa has 46,000 members across Northern Ireland, with 1,200 of them working within the PSNI.
Its assistant secretary, Ryan McKinney, said: “We are seeking leave for a judicial review of the decision of the chief constable of the PSNI to award an £180m contract to a private security company, Resource NI.
“Our legal advice is that the Chief Constable has no legal authority to outsource police support roles and therefore is acting unlawfully by entering into this contract.”
Mr McKinney said members have reported to the union many instances of the PSNI facilitating the return of ex-police officers, who have received a Patton severance package, to civilian jobs.
“Those ex-police officers have been returning to civilian roles under the guise of agency workers and under contracts like this,” Mr McKinney said.
“This has created a lot of resentment within the PSNI.
“In the wake of the G4S debacle in the run-up to the Olympics, there needs to be a fully open informed debate on the issue of privatisation of policing.”
A police spokesman said last night: “We will allow the judicial process to take its course.”