Northern Ireland news

Confidence in PSNI 'suffering due to no legacy agreement', chief constable warns

PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne. File picture by Margaret McLaughlin

CONFIDENCE in the PSNI is suffering because there is no agreed way forward on how to deal with the legacy of the Troubles, the chief constable has warned.

In a letter to the five main party leaders, Simon Byrne extended his support to the parties as they began fresh talks aimed at restoring power-sharing at Stormont.

He called on the parties to show leadership "in these times of challenge and uncertainty".

"As part of the upcoming discussions, it is imperative that an agreement is reached on the ongoing policing issue of legacy and dealing with the past," he said.

"Progress on this issue is critical for those who continue to suffer as a result of our painful past, but it is also important for policing. In the absence of an agreed way forward, confidence in policing continues to suffer. As we look toward to the 20th Anniversary of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, I want to see this change."

He said public services across Northern Ireland need further investment and clear planning.

Mr Byrne said the PSNI was "in need of modernisation".

"In recent weeks, we have completed three strategic outline cases for investing in (the) PSNI across three distinct areas – police officer numbers, digital technology and the police estate," he said.

"As our oversight body, I have already discussed these outline cases with the Policing Board. I would also welcome the opportunity to meet with you to provide an overview of how investment across these three areas of policing will ensure we are delivering a policing service that will keep people safe and build community confidence and consent."

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