Chris Lyttle MLA said: “The scale of potential damage to policing by the mismanagement of our finances is breathtaking and will affect everyone. The Chief Constable has warned that if the Executive does not step up to its responsibilities on finance, there will be serious repercussions for policing. Indeed the PSNI will potentially be reduced below resilience levels.
“The Justice Minister and the Alliance Party have been warning about this for months. The short term financial stupidity of the SDLP and Sinn Fein in blocking welfare reform has made this financial situation worse and increased the level of cuts that the Chief Constable has been forced to make. The financial mismanagement by the DUP and Sinn Fein will have a potentially catastrophic impact on public safety. The decision by the DUP and Sinn Fein to protect both the Departments for Health and Education, has worsened the cuts that the Justice Department has been forced to make.
“In spite of the best endeavours of the Chief Constable, the political failure to take strategic decisions for the common good will result in less Police officers being on the street and may even put lives at risk. Political intransigence is jeopardising public safety and justice for people in Northern Ireland.”