Reacting to the comments of Chief Constable, Hugh Orde, in today’s Newsletter, that 50:50 quotas do discriminate and restrict numbers of trainees that can be recruited, Alliance Party Justice Spokesperson, Dr Stephen Farry, has claimed that this represents further evidence that the continued use of quotas is unsustainable.
Dr Farry said:
“The greatest challenge facing policing at present is low police numbers on the street. It is clear from the numbers of those applying to join the police that many people have the ambition to serve and protect the community.
“While the Chief Constable continues to defend the current policy, he is recognising its clear limitations.
“Alliance is concerned that the continued use of 50:50 quotas prevents qualified individuals from serving, by artificially capping the number of police trainees that can be taken on at any one time.
“Quotas are illegal under European law, discriminatory and divisive.
“The absence of a new police training college is also substantially undermining the number of recruits that can be processed.
“Alliance continues to uphold the goal of a truly representative police service of Northern Ireland, but maintains that this can be achieved through more flexible forms of affirmative action. Rather than being part of the solution, quotas have become part of the problem, and restrict the ability to deliver the best policing service possible.”