Alliance Leader David Ford has said 50:50 quotas should be set aside, since they are currently “proving to be detrimental to good policing in Northern Ireland”.
Mr Ford said that he welcomed the Chief Constable’s announcement that 100 officers would be moved into detective units and an advertising campaign would be launched in Great Britain for more investigators.
But he added that a 50:50 quota for civilian staff should be set aside to allow more officers to move from desk-based duties to tackling crime.
Mr Ford stated: “Alliance discussed this with the new Chief Constable at our first meeting on Monday, and given the post-Patten haemorrhage of experience we have witnessed, it makes perfect sense for more detectives with a few years under their belts to join the PSNI.
“However, further action is needed in other areas. We need confirmation that the full-time reserve will remain in place until there are adequate numbers of fully-trained officers to deal with both normal policing and the terrorist threat to security.
“We also need to bring in the new part-time reserve. This is part of the Patten recommendations and could lead to a significant increase in manpower availability to deal with specific events and incidents.
“But something that could really help bolster policing is a dramatic increase in the current rate of bringing in civilians to do clerical or administrative jobs that do not require trained police officers.
“Alliance continues to have major concerns about the application of the 50:50 recruitment quotas. Not only are they apparently keeping down the number of recruits to the PSNI itself, but they are particularly inappropriate for civilian posts.
“Whilst a balanced workforce is a desirable objective, the current rigid 50:50 quota both denigrates individuals and is hampering the urgent recruitment of staff both uniformed and support.”