Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Police chiefs do not deserve bonuses

Like many citizens in Northern Ireland, I suspect, I read with a sense of disbelief that the senior leaders of the PSNI can/are being awarded performance bonuses.

What performance I ask you? Where is the evidence that these senior people deliver anything but vacuous, patronising platitudes?

As an example of vacuous platitudes, I listened with dismay recently to the current acting Chief Constable stating on Radio Ulster that she needed to get more police out of offices and into policing on the streets.

Presumably that lack of basic planning and foresight performance was before she was promoted to her current post. Similarly, does the head of personnel at the PSNI not understand the basics of resource planning? Given the PSNI's self-confessed lack of performance, presumably not.

Many people I have conversations with have noted a lack of police officers on patrol in uniform on the streets. When you do see them, or they eventually turn up if you call them, none of them wears the same configuration of uniform and they want to avoid doing any work. I wonder who has been assessing their performance. Presumably their senior leaders are off somewhere calculating their bonuses and don't see the lack of quality.

It begs the question: if the senior leaders of a failing organisation can qualify for bonuses, who sets the performance thresholds for them? Presumably they agree them with the Policing Board.

Do they? If so, then the Policing Board needs to conduct some internal soul-searching.

Your article stated the Policing Board would only release high-level details of potential bonus payments. Why the coyness? Could it be embarrassment?

I would urge these poorly performing PSNI senior leaders to search their moral consciences, if any of them have one, and not claim what they are obviously not entitled to.

If, like Fred Goodwin, the equally undeserving head of Royal Bank of Scotland in Edinburgh, they don't - and I suspect they won't - then at least give some 'coppers' to the rest of us.

J LITTLE

Belfast

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