Ford seeks PSNI chief criteria changes

Published Monday, 27 January 2014
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The First and deputy First Ministers have instructed Justice Minister David Ford to bring his proposed changes to the criteria for appointing the new PSNI Chief Constable before the Executive for consideration.

Ford seeks PSNI chief criteria changes
The Chief Constable and ACC pictured at a press briefing. (© Pacemaker)

It comes after the Alliance MLA announced he had removed the need for applicants to the position of Chief Constable to have served at Assistant Chief Constable rank for a minimum of two years in policing outside of Northern Ireland.

Instead the Minister changed the criteria to 'desirable' and introduced the mandatory requirement that the successful candidate should have successfully completed the Strategic Command Course (or an equivalent).

Following the announcement, First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said in a statement they had determined it was a "significant matter" under the terms of the ministerial code.

The changes mean a local police officer could get the top PSNI role.

Last week, outgoing Chief Constable Matt Baggott announced he would not be renewing his contract which expires in September. Mr Baggott, 55, spent the first 20 years of his service in the Metropolitan Police and took up the head role within the PSNI in 2009.

Earlier Mr Ford said that, following changes to appointment procedures elsewhere in policing, "I considered it important to ensure the criteria allows for as wide a pool of candidates as possible".

"It is however for the Policing Board to consider the experiences of those involved and whether they consider applicants to be suitably qualified.

"It is important to note that, in setting some minimum standards, I am not prohibiting the Board from adding to these minimum criteria as they consider the skills, experience and competencies required of a new Chief Constable," he added.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Ulysses32 in Belfast wrote (361 days ago):
Sam stuck-in-the-past. I appreciate the assistance but thatt may not necessarily be the case due to devolution of policing and justice. If that were to happen on a regular basis why would you need ministers? Good to see you've mastered numeracy, by the way. Now if you could do as well in the likes of history you might get somewhere........
Observer in Online wrote (361 days ago):
Sam1690 - Well said sir!
Sam1690 in Ballysillan wrote (361 days ago):
Ulysses26+6, If you paid attention to politics you'd find that in the St Andrew's agreement (which supersedes GFA) the DUP successfully secured legislation that means, in effect, all major decisions like this one, of the changes the Agriculture minister tried to make, MUST be agreed by the whole executive. Glad to be of assistance.
Ulysses32 in Belfast wrote (362 days ago):
tiredlistening, the electorate and the parties at Stormont gave him the authority to make the decisions. You should really check up on Stormont to see who is actually representing you, David Ford is Justice Minister, Simon Hamilton is Finance Minister, Stephen Farry is the Employment and Learning Minister, etc. And, James from Comber? Considering the veiws you express on this webiste I would presume your CV would have went straight into the bin. Did you mention that you were a fervent flegger supporter?
tiredlistening in Newtownards wrote (363 days ago):
Who gives Ford authority to make these decisions. He also appointed the Chair to RUC GC, surely this person should be an ex RUC GC Officer
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