With the Chief Constable set to make a statement on the future of the Full-Time Reserve, Alliance Party Leader, David Ford, has called on the Secretary of State to set aside the 50:50 recruitment quotas to allow those who wish to join the full Police Service.
David Ford stated:
“In Northern Ireland, as throughout the UK and Ireland, people are looking for a greater police presence on the ground. The UK Government is actively recruiting police officers to put more ‘bobbies on the beat’. No sensible society would voluntarily get rid of competent police officers already doing the job.
“Clearly, some officers wish to move on. Those who wish to retire should be treated generously in recognition of their service on behalf of the community in difficult times.
“Others may wish to be retained within the Full-Time Reserve for a limited time.
“However, many of the reservists want to join the regular service, and are perfectly capable of doing so, but are being blocked by the 50:50 rule.
“To add insult to injury, many of these officers are currently giving some of the on-the-street training to new recruits.
“Leaving aside the general arguments, there is a strong case for temporarily setting aside the 50:50 restriction for members of the Full-Time Reserve who are capable of meeting the entry requirements.
“They would not require the full training course, and could become permanent officers with a relatively little investment of time and resources. This would ensure that the community continues to benefit from their skills and experience.”