Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle has said if the Secretary of State re-establishes the Policing Board, she should take other decisions to help end the political impasse here.
Mr Lyttle was speaking after media reports suggested Karen Bradley would bring forward legislation to the House of Commons to re-establish the Board, which currently doesn’t have any legal authority to oversee policing due to the collapse of the institutions.
“Accountability is key to wider community confidence in the PSNI and the Policing Board is a crucial component of that accountability,” he said.
“Alliance’s Next Steps Forward document, released earlier this year and suggesting ideas to get the political process moving, recommended the re-establishment of the Policing Board. It is vital we have it in place as soon as possible – for example, the Chief Constable’s contract is due to expire next July, so we face the prospect of a summer without a Chief Constable overseeing PSNI operations if there is no body to deal with appointments.
“However, it raises the question if the Secretary of State can act in this case, why does she refuse to in other important areas? The absence of locally accountable Ministers has put local politics at breaking point and the Secretary of State needs to act immediately to do everything in her power to help end this impasse.”