Alliance Party Justice Spokesperson, Stephen Farry, has backed the call of the new Chief Constable for the retention of the full-time reserve, and offered his full support to Hugh Order in confronting the many challenges ahead.
Dr Farry stated:
“The Patten Report envisaged a situation in which the security situation in Northern Ireland was little different from other parts of the United Kingdom. With the continued threat from paramilitaries and ongoing street violence, this is clearly not the case. Current police numbers are below even the thresholds set by Patten.”
“Ideally, there would be no need for a full-time reserve. The regular police would be at full complement, and there would be no arbitrary distinction between different categories of constables. However, in the current climate, it would be sheer madness to do away with the full-time reserve.”
“Serious investment does need to be made in the capacity for training new recruits. There is substantial interest from young men and women from all sides of the community in joining the reformed police service. There are more qualified applicants than places.”
“Alliance wishes the new Chief Constable well in confronting a very difficult set of challenges. He has our full confidence and support in upholding the rule of law, fairly and impartially. In these difficult times, the whole community should give him a similar commitment.”