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Minister extends 50/50 PSNI enrolment

Security Minister Paul Goggins has extended the PSNI 50/50 recruitment process for the final time.

The minister laid an Order in Parliament yesterday to renew the temporary provisions, that followed a three-month consultation period on their effectiveness.

Speaking yesterday at Northern Ireland Questions, Mr Goggins said: “Northern Ireland has a police service which has support from across the political spectrum and in all sections of the community.

“The role of the PSNI has also fundamentally changed, with a greater emphasis on community policing. The temporary 50/50 provisions have also delivered significant change in the composition of the PSNI.

“When they were introduced in 2001, Catholic composition was 8.3% and today it stands at 27.68% of a service of over 7,300 officers.

“As soon as the 30% target is achieved, the Government will return to Parliament and bring these provisions to an end.

“This is in line with the commitment made in the St Andrews Agreement that the 50/50 recruitment arrangements to the PSNI will lapse when the Patten target for Catholic officers has been achieved.”

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