Police Service of Northern Ireland’s performance ‘good’ despite political gridlock

By agency reporter
March 19, 2018

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) continues to do a good job protecting the public and reducing crime despite political gridlock in the Northern Irish Assembly, according to two reports from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

The absence of an elected Assembly meant that the PSNI could only access 95 per cent of the previous year’s budget, which limited its opportunities to plan future investments. However, two inspections showed that the PSNI is coping well and understands well how it will meet future demand while also making cost efficiencies.

HM Inspector of Constabulary Matt Parr said: “We are encouraged to find that the PSNI continues to make good use of its resources in spite of continuing uncertainty around the political situation in Northern Ireland. Since our last inspection, it has developed a deeper understanding of its workforce’s skills and capability and is in a strong position to meet the demands of newer threats such as human trafficking and cyber-crime.

“That said, we did identify some areas for improvement. We found that uniformed officers often lacked the necessary support and supervision to effectively investigate volume crimes like burglary. We also found very little evidence that the PSNI systematically pursued people it issued with arrest warrants for minor crimes.

“While we recognise that the Police Service of Northern Ireland is a high-performing force, it should investigate all crimes to a consistently high standard, regardless of the seriousness of the offence.”

The report also sets out that the PSNI:

  • has been determined to be ‘good’ in how effectively and efficiently it keeps people safe and reduces crime;
  • has a comprehensive understanding of local organised crime and works well with partners to dismantle it;
  • could do more to ensure frontline officers apply problem-solving techniques consistently; and
  • should continue its efforts to reduce the backlog of digital devices waiting to be analysed.

The Department of Justice commissioned HMICFRS to carry out these inspections as part of annual assessments of police performance. HMICFRS will carry out further inspections in 2018/19.

* Read the report on efficiency here and the report on effectiveness here

* Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/

[Ekk/4]

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