Northern Ireland’s police chief has ditched proposals to remove the region’s name from a new logo.
A new simplified version of the current PSNI logo, which was for potential use on vehicles and social media and digital platforms, only had the words Police Service NI on it.
The proposal was met with criticism from some within the unionist and loyalist community.
Responding to the controversy, Chief Constable Simon Byrne said the simplified crest would no longer be included in a public consultation on wider rebranding proposals.
He insisted it had never been the plan to replace the current crest entirely.
“Since my appointment, it has been my ambition to make the police service more visible, accessible and responsive,” he said.
“It was part of my vision to refresh our corporate image, branding, uniform and fleet as symbols of our ambitious modernisation plans.
“We recently released images of proposed branding ahead of a public consultation on the matter.
“Beforehand, the proposals were widely shared with key stakeholders including the Policing Board, Department of Justice, elected representatives and staff association and trade union representatives.
“The name of the Police Service of Northern Ireland is set in law and will not be changing, nor will there be any changes to the service crest and emblems. I recognise entirely that the crest is enshrined in law.”
Mr Byrne added: “This has resulted in much debate and commentary and provoked a strong reaction from some.
“I have listened to the feedback and as a result can confirm that the simplified white version of the crest planned for use on social media and digital platforms will not now form part of the public consultation and will no longer be used.
“In the spirit of openness, I was prepared to test other ideas and was keen to start an initial conversation. I want to move away from the use of the acronym PSNI and focus more on the word ‘police’. I am keen to develop this. Indeed, our social media platforms have recently been updated to reflect this.
“We will continue with our plans to launch our public consultation later this year and would welcome the feedback and contribution from all our communities to help shape the look and feel of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.”
The Police Federation for Northern Ireland, the representative body for rank-and-file PSNI officers, said it was “time to move on” from the furore.
PFNI chairman Mark Lindsay said: “In our pre-consultation phase, we saw merit and value in much of what was proposed. At the heart of what was set out was a desire to simplify and modernise PSNI branding.
“The pre-consultation was open and transparent. One element, however, subsequently received some push-back. The Chief Constable has reacted promptly to acknowledge and address the concerns that were expressed.
“It is now time to move on from here. In our view, this does not take away from the worthwhile goal of modernising the look of the service. For example, work on uniforms and vehicles must proceed as it will benefit officers in a meaningful and practical way.
“The Chief Constable has listened and acted promptly and we share his desire to do what is best for the PSNI and the full range of services officers provide this entire community.”