Belfast Telegraph

Row over new PSNI chief 'helps dissidents'

BY CHRIS KILPATRICK

Wrangling over the appointment of the next PSNI Chief Constable could make the force vulnerable to dissident republican terror attacks, it has been warned.

Two leading organisations representing all ranks in the PSNI up to chief superintendent came together yesterday to urge politicians to settle heated spats regarding the recruitment process.

The Police Federation (PFNI) and the Superintendents' Association (SANI), said they fear "crippling inertia" if the selection process is hampered by political or legal wrangling and disagreement.

The warning came amid the dispute involving Stormont Justice Minister David Ford and his colleagues in the power-sharing executive on his proposal to change the minimum criteria required for applicants to replace outgoing Chief Constable Matt Baggott.

Mr Ford's plan to scrap the need to have served two years at senior rank in a force outside Northern Ireland would have widened the field of candidates.

The policing organisations called for a clear, decisive, and expeditious 'route map' that facilitates a prompt and trouble-free handover to the new Chief Constable when Mr Baggott steps down at the end of August.

The joint statement by PFNI chairman, Terry Spence, and SANI President, Nigel Grimshaw, said there was "an urgent need to resolve disputes" over the process to replace Mr Baggott.

"At a time when we continue to deal with a severe level of threat, protest and dispute on the streets, and the marching season looming, this is something we can ill afford," they warned.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph