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Tainste statement on British Govt recruitment in PSNI

Responding to the announcement that the British government has decided not to renew the 50:50 recruitment for the PSNI, the Tánaiste said:

“The transformation of policing in Northern Ireland, based on the Patten report, is one of the key achievements of the peace process.  The 50-50 recruitment provisions have been a vital element in that transformation over the last decade.  However, as Patten also made clear the goal should be and remains a police service that is fully representative of the community it serves.  On this basis, in advance of today’s announcement, I indicated to Secretary of State Owen Paterson that it was the strong view of the Irish Government that the PSNI must have recruitment and retention policies that make steady progress in the coming years from the current level of Catholic participation towards a fully representative service, which would of course have over 40% Catholic representation.  Furthermore, I indicated that if for any reason there was slippage or failure to make further steady progress towards a fully representative force, corrective measures would need to be taken, including consideration of the re-introduction of 50-50 type provisions, in a manner that was fully consistent with the thrust of the Patten report.”


Note for Editors

The Patten report, (September 1999) recommended 50-50 recruitment for a period of ten years, over which time it envisaged the number of Catholic officers rising from 8.3%  into the range 29%-33%, at which stage special recruitment provisions may no longer be necessary.  Today’s announcement puts the current level of Catholic representation at 29.76 %.  The Patten report was clear that the composition of the police service should continue to move towards closer resemblance to that of the community as a whole.