Police quotas – High Court judgment “disappointing

Alliance Leader David Ford has said the Government should concern itself with getting more police on the beat, rather than worrying about what religious denomination recruits were.

Speaking after the High Court upheld 50/50 religious recruitment this morning, Mr Ford described the result as “disappointing”. He stated: “If we are to truly make progress to a normal society, we have to get away from this concept that all our people are divided into two mutually antagonistic groups. Not everyone is either a unionist or a nationalist, a Protestant or a Catholic.”

“While it is quite understandable that special efforts were suggested to increase Catholic recruitment to the new police service, it is unacceptable that they should persist.”

“Northern Ireland urgently needs to see a high level of recruitment of new, well qualified officers, serving the entire community. Our greatest need is to see more ‘bobbies on the beat’, not worry about whether they are Protestants or Catholics.”

“It would be extremely damaging if potential recruits fail to take up their jobs because the desire to preserve a sectional balance means that recruitment is slower than it should be.”

“I suspect this case has the potential to drag on for years before this law is declared illegal under the ECHR. It would be far better for the government to address the problem now.” ENDS.

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