Northern Ireland news

More than one application for interim PSNI chief

Former PSNI chief constable Simon Byrne
Connla Young

The Policing Board has received more than one application for the role of interim PSNI chief constable.

A five-person Policing Board panel is due to meet on Tuesday to consider the applications.

Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris indicated last week he would fast-track the legislation needed to make the temporary appointment.

The move to put an interim PSNI chief constable in place comes weeks after Simon Byrne stepped down from the job after a series of controversies.

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These included several data breaches and a critical High Court ruling which said that two junior officers had been unlawfully disciplined.

Mr Byrne's deputy Mark Hamilton has not been at work following a medical procedure, MPs were told last week.

In a statement the Policing Board said on Monday that the board panel will meet on Tuesday “to consider applications for the position of interim chief constable”.

It is understood a meeting of the full board is also scheduled to take place later the same day.

Any recommended appointment will then be forwarded to the Department of Justice and Northern Ireland Office.

A spokesman for the PSNI said that the deputy chief constable “remains absent at this time and the day to day leadership of the service continues to be delivered by the service executive team”.


Policing Board member Mark H Durkan.


Meanwhile, SDLP Policing Board member Mark H Durkan has called on the organisation's chair Deirdre Toner to hold October’s scheduled meeting, due to take place on Thursday, in public.  

"The decision of the chair of the NI Policing Board to ditch the next scheduled public session is the wrong one,” he said.

“I have written to the board urging that the decision is reversed and that as part of the board meeting on Thursday there is a public discussion with the PSNI executive team.”

A spokeswoman for the board said this week’s planned meeting “will not have a public session”.

“Legislative provision states that board meetings in public are for the purpose of receiving and considering a report from the chief constable only.”


Northern Ireland news