PSNI recruitment welcome but more officers are needed says Police Federation
The Police Federation, which represents rank and file police officers has welcomed the PSNI's latest recruitment drive, but said more people are needed to bolster the force's numbers.
The PSNI launched a recruitment drive on Wednesday.
It is hoping to recruit at least 100 officers, although that figure could rise depending on affordability, the PSNI has said.
The Police Federation (PFNI), while welcoming the recruitment, said that current numbers were at least 700 short of the 7,500 strong service envisaged in the Patten reforms for peacetime policing.
In a statement, the PFNI said: “All attempts to alleviate enormous and excessive pressures on officers are to be welcomed.
"For all of that, we have an under-strength service that requires hundreds more Officers to deliver day-to-day policing.
“Police Officers are human beings who deserve their time off to spend with their families. Instead, they’re called in to plug gaps in the service and are unable to get badly-needed rest days which are being cancelled at short notice.
"Childcare and family plans are thrown into disarray.
“Mounting bureaucracy and reduced resources compound the problem. We need additional resources and a commitment from government to tackle glaring deficiencies.
“Policing is never easy but it is a rewarding and worthwhile job. My hope has to be that this recruitment campaign is the start of an all-out effort to get the numbers we need and not a stop-gap measure that will be inadequate.”
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said they were looking for individuals committed to making a difference.
Recruits with a starting salary of £19,000 will undergo a rigorous 22 week training programme at the PSNI's training college in east Belfast.
When qualified as a probationary constable their pay rises to over £22,000.
Last week the Police Federation, which represents thousands of rank and file officers, said morale in the force was at an all time low.
The slump in spirits has been blamed on harsh budget cuts, restructuring and other internal changes.
Despite the drawbacks more than 7,000 people applied for 100 posts advertised last year.