HL Deb 29 July 2002 vol 638 cc158-9WA
Lord Kilclooney

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the strength of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, excluding the full-time reserve policemen; what was the figure recommended by the Patten report; and whether the present strength of the Police Service of Northern Ireland is adequate to provide efficient policing in Northern Ireland. [HL5356]

Lord Williams of Mostyn

The current number of regular officers in the Police Service of Northern Ireland is 6,879.

Patten Recommendation 105 states that "provided the peace process does not collapse and the security situation does not deteriorate significantly from the situation pertaining at present, the approximate size of the police service over the next 10 years should be 7,500 full time officers". Patten also recommended the disbandment of the full-time reserve, but currently there are over 2,000 FTR officers in the police service.

The Government are committed to ensuring the chief constable has all the resources he needs to maintain an efficient and effective police service in whatever environment pertains and will be guided by the chief constable's assessment of policing requirements.

The police service and the Policing Board are currently developing a human resource strategy which will ensure that the PSNI can make optimum use of all of the resources it has available.