Dickson: Justice Minister was right to propose changing Chief Constable criteria

Alliance Justice spokesperson, Stewart Dicskon MLA, has questioned why the Executive have opposed a change in the minimum criteria for the appointment of a Chief Constable. The Justice Minister’s proposal would have removed the requirement for candidates to have served a minimum of two years at the rank of Assistant Chief Constable or higher in another police force. The Executive rejected this proposal.

Stewart Dickson MLA said: “The Chief Executive of the Policing Board has made it quite clear that the process for the appointment of the next Chief Constable has not begun, so the Justice Minister was not undermining any process. The Minister was discharging his statutory responsibility to set the minimum criteria for the Policing Board to determine the final criteria for appointing the Chief Constable.

“I believe the First and deputy First Ministers have indicated that they may support a change in the criteria the next time a Chief Constable is appointed. However, since the appointment process has not yet begun, why have they not supported it now?

“Despite voicing opposition to the Minister’s proposal, nobody has outlined an objective reason why it should not go ahead. The equality guidance has stated that the existing criteria may be discriminatory towards women or those with dependants, so I am disappointed that the parties who pride themselves on promoting equality have completely ignored it on this occasion. The Minister has attempted to prevent the possibility of a discrimination case being taken, the fault for not dealing with this rests with the Executive.”


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