Northern Ireland news

PSNI face holiday restrictions as Brexit deadline looms

ACC George Clarke has said there continues to be uncertainly around Brexit.

RESTRICTIONS have been placed on police leave due to a "large degree of uncertainty" around what will happen if the UK crashes out of the EU on October 31.

The six-week restriction will be in force from the Brexit deadline until December 12 as part of a UK-wide contingency plan.

Assistant Chief Constable George Clarke, who is the PSNI Gold Commander for the EU Exit, said the decision was made after "many months of planning and preparation" adding there "there is still a large degree of uncertainty".

"Due to that uncertainty - as well as the potential challenges facing PSNI during the EU Exit period - we have made an operational decision to introduce a 10 per cent annual leave restriction for police officers across the service.

"This has been done in consultation with the Police Federation for Northern Ireland (PFNI) and the Superintendents’ Association.

"It is designed to be a sensible, precautionary measure to allow us to meet any increased demand on our services.

"Other UK police forces are also putting leave restrictions in place."

Officers across the force were informed of the decision yesterday.

Despite Tuesday's Supreme Court ruling Boris Johnson has vowed that Brexit will happen with or without a deal on October 31.

What that will mean for security arrangements at the border remains the subject of uncertainty.

ACC Clarke said: "Our officers and staff have a very strong public service ethos and we have already informed them of the decision on annual leave.

"We appreciate the impact this restriction may have on officers but it will be kept under constant review and lifted, once it is no longer required operationally.

"It will be imposed and maintained for the shortest possible time.

"I have also conveyed to colleagues my appreciation of their professionalism and commitment to date and have asked for their ongoing support.”


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