On that point, may I make it clear to the Committee that as recently as 11 October 2002, the total number of regular officers in the PSNI was 6,905, against an establishment figure of 8,488. The police service was therefore light by 1,500 regular officers. That is a serious situation. It is not the time to be lecturing the Committee about the fairness of the 50:50 system and the need to recruit more Catholics into the
police force. Of course there is a need to recruit more Catholics into the police force, but there is also a need for the police force to be up to strength. It has 1,500 officers too few.