In response to the news that the PSNI Full Time Reserve (FTR) is to be almost halved in strength, Alliance Assembly member and former Police Authority member Sean Neeson stated:
“At a time when crime is one of the most pressing issues for Northern Ireland, it is unfortunate that we are losing so many experienced officers. Those who are left behind only have a temporary stay of execution, and it seems incredible that measures are not being considered to better facilitate transfers from the FTR into the new policing structures.
“On the back of the Chief Constable’s decision, Alliance is calling on the Secretary of State to amend policing legislation to allow him to set aside the 50/50 quota rule to allow for the lateral entry for any reservist who wants join the regular service.
“No right-thinking society would get rid of officers who are qualified and already doing the job at a time when crime is such a concern and the PSNI is under-strength and under-resourced. The issue of the FTR has been both an anomaly and a political hot potato that should be dealt with now to get rid of the uncertainty surrounding it. Lateral entry would resolve this issue for good.”