Belfast Telegraph

Chief constable Hamilton: Police dealing with budgets 'month to month'

Chief Constable of the PSNI George Hamilton has said that the police are working with "month-to-month" budgets in the absence of the Executive.

Mr Hamilton made the comments during an interview on BBC Radio Ulster's Inside Politics programme.

Speaking about how the Police Service was operating, he said: "You know I used to complain that we only got one-year budgets, we’re sort of getting month-by-month budgets at the moment so any long-term financial planning around change and transformation in the organisation is even more difficult and it’s speculative at best."

The Chief Constable was reflecting on wider issues that the political impasse in Northern Ireland was creating for the policing services.

"I’m an optimist. I hope it won’t continue, wishing the politicians well in getting the differences resolved. This is not ideal," he said.

Mr Hamilton also highlighted the collapse of the Executive in January had meant the Policing Board had not met formally and in public 2017.

"That accountability mechanism is actually good for policing," he said.

"It can be uncomfortable for us sometimes but it is actually a very good platform. It promotes confidence in policing, and it actually creates that platform for us to articulate and explain ourselves."

The Policing Board is an independent public body made up of 19 political and independent members, and according to its website aims to ensure an "effective, efficient, impartial, representative and accountable police service".

Since the start of the year the body has been without its 10 political members, who are drawn from the Executive and appointed under d'Hondt principles.

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