PSNI: Officer Numbers

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 2 November 2021.

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Photo of Robin Newton Robin Newton DUP 2:30, 2 November 2021

T2. Mr Newton asked the Minister of Justice to confirm the planned number of full-time PSNI officers, the number of part-time officers and the shortfall. (AQT 1732/17-22)

Photo of Naomi Long Naomi Long Alliance

I will write to the Member with the details of all those. The Member will know that the target for PSNI officers set out in the New Decade, New Approach (NDNA) agreement is 7,500. There is funding to raise the current complement from 7,000 to 7,100, which is why a recruitment campaign is starting today. It is my Department's role to try to secure funding for the remaining number of officers. The Member will also be aware of the Budget settlement and the announcements in England and Wales with respect to the number of additional police officers there. I am sure that he will be encouraged to know that I have written to the Finance Minister to ensure that, when it comes to Northern Ireland, we do not overlook the responsibility that we have to meet those NDNA targets as we move forward.

Photo of Robin Newton Robin Newton DUP

I welcome the fact that the Minister will write to me on the PSNI full-time officers. Perhaps the Minister is able to answer the question on the shortfall in part-time officers at this moment in time.

Photo of Naomi Long Naomi Long Alliance

The Member asked both questions at once, and I said that I would return to him with the numbers. I do not have the complement of part-time officers, but I am happy to write to the Member to give him those figures. However, I remind him that he is at liberty to write to the Chief Constable, who is responsible for staffing. Whilst we provide the Chief Constable with funding, it is the Chief Constable who determines how many officers he has, in cooperation and collaboration with members of the Policing Board. It is not my job to dictate to the Chief Constable how many officers he employs.