PSNI 'fatigued' by public disorder

Published Friday, 28 June 2013
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Policing public disorder has left some parts of the PSNI "fatigued" and under significant pressure, senior officers have told inspectors.

PSNI 'fatigued' by public disorder
PSNI were under increased pressure during Union flag disorder, the report found (© Pacemaker)

The number of riot police in the region has almost halved since 2000 following the decision of the IRA and loyalists to decommission weapons.

However, heightened tensions surrounding loyal order parades and Union flag protests means public order police units have an increased workload, Criminal Justice Northern Ireland found.

The report stated: "In the absence of an overall comprehensive strategic threat and risk assessment, it is impossible to say whether the reductions in TSGs (Tactical Support Groups or riot police) were entirely justified.

"It may well be that they were justified or indeed inevitable in the circumstances, given the significant pressures to reform and achieve efficiencies and normalisation.

"But the envisaged peaceful situation which was referred to by the Independent Commission on

Policing in 1999 does not reflect the current policing environment."

Financial pressures and the abolition of the full-time reserves has contributed to a reduction in the number of tactical support groups and part-time public order units that support dedicated riot police.

The report also highlighted an ageing workforce and injuries or restrictions on duty.

The independent review stated: "Inspectors also heard clear evidence of some disquiet that the public order capacity had been stretched in recent years.

"Various interviewees expressed the view that requests for public order support were often reduced to meet the available resource, rather than meeting the operational requirements.

"Senior officers also acknowledged the fact that some parts of the organisation were 'fatigued' by recent deployments and events."

The report found although it is inevitable that public order capacity would be stretched at times, having an underused department was not the solution, as lack of deployment would make it less effective.

"The key issue seems to be one of a reasoned analysis of the future need with the objective of creating the greatest amount of flexibility possible," it added.

© UTV News
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21 Comments
micheal in belfast wrote (419 days ago):
oh bohoo! who thinks to put this into the public domain, wonder how the business people feel and felt and the rest of the public who had to try and get on with their lives; when the police neglected to do their jobs right. The police are handsomely compensated,for the little they do.Not to mention the thousand pound bonus they got for the G8 summit,JOKE!
jay in Belfast wrote (419 days ago):
@carl. I seen reports over the years about the RUC being beleagured. Under constant threat their families also suffered greatly. Now the threat level may be different and from other sources but it remains a hard job especially when politicians on both extremes put you in the firing line of yobs on a weekly basis (flegs, marches ect) oh and then accuse you of one sided policing.
Harold Milligan in Larne wrote (419 days ago):
overtime makes me tired too.
Anon in Castlereagh wrote (420 days ago):
Carl, if you had actually read the article, you would see how stupid your comment is. The PSNI have only a fraction of the resources that the RUC had during the Troubles, and that's before you take into account the thousands of soldiers who supported them during riots. Bill, you must be forgetting the Anglo-Irish agreement, Drumcree dispute and all the other occasions Loyalists rioted against the RUC. This lie that has developed over the last few months that Loyalists loved the RUC and that they were nothing like the PSNI is ludicrous.
Johnny in Belfast wrote (420 days ago):
Bill catch yourself on, suppose your am ex 'ruc hero'!!! FairPlay to the psni, do a great job in difficult circumstances!!!
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