PSNI overtime bill 'over £72m' for 2013

Published Tuesday, 18 February 2014
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A total of £72m of taxpayers' money was spent last year on PSNI officers working overtime across Northern Ireland, UTV can reveal.

PSNI overtime bill 'over £72m' for 2013
The cost of overtime policing in 2013 was £20m more than the previous year. (© Presseye)

Police are coming under increasing pressure to keep peace on the streets, amid the continued threat from dissident republicans and ongoing tensions surrounding loyalist parades and protests.

But with resources stretched and officers working around the clock, the overtime bill has been rising.

The total cost in 2013 was over £20m more than was spent the previous year, due to a combination of the terrorist threat, civil disorder and the G8 summit attended by world leaders in Co Fermanagh.

  • £25,748,000 was spent on policing the dissident republican threat.
  • £15,724,000 was spent on parades, protests, flag disputes and disorder.
  • £9,838,000 was spent on the largely peaceful G8 summit in Enniskillen.
  • £2,545,000 was spent on policing the Twaddell protest camp in north Belfast.

Senior police officers, including Chief Constable Matt Baggott, have been vocal about the pressures being placed on the service.

Concerns have been raised about how policing bills will be met long-term if the current situation whereby violence can flare without much warning continues in future.

The PSNI's entire budget for one year is £1bn, so the £72,136,000 bill represents a significant proportion of that being spent solely on overtime.

Speaking to UTV, Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin admitted it was a large amount of money that he would rather see spent on areas like tackling everyday crime and anti-social behaviour.

"Unfortunately we operate in a society that has difficulties, difficulties with a security threat which is severe, difficulties with parading and flags," he said.

"We saw 682 officers injured in a 12-month period to August 2013, we have officers in last minute family circumstances being disrupted because of being called to duty, so there are real welfare pressures on our officers having to work this overtime.

"So, create a more stable, more peaceful environment, deal with some of our legacy problems that are proving difficult and those costs associated with policing will come down."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
26 Comments
Ryan in An Dun wrote (240 days ago):
Is it any wonder when they make deals with flag protestors. Look at what is happening in Kiev at the minute. That kind of thing has been going on for years and not the same media coverage. Continuing to stand by and watch illegal parades when they go over their time limit and policing a caravan in Twaddell. Irish Travellers are moved on. Why not this caravan? Most places would learn from their mistakes but the PSNI continue to bow to the pressure of Loyalist extremists behind the flag protests. The Loyalist answer to these rising cost is "they took our fleg and we don't know where we are any more". The Lord Mayor for the WHOLE of Belfast is attacked when opening a park. How much PSNI security did Nelson McCausland need when opening a park in the falls? It's things like this that are making these communities look like a bunch of thugs. There is no problem in protesting but when protesting conditions are continually broken that's when it becomes a problem.
Martin in Carrick wrote (242 days ago):
@ Equality in Belfast. Maybe you should read my comment again, nowhere in it have I said sinn fein made excuses for dissident republican attacks, I merely pointed out that republican politicians attempts to condemn then where feeble. Maybe I should have said insincere, you might have understood that better.
john in crumlin wrote (242 days ago):
martin in carrick you are talkin nonsense sinn fein always condem dissident attacks from both sides unlike the unionist politicians. just typical selective hearing you have like too many people on this site
Equality in Belfast wrote (242 days ago):
To Martin in Carrick give me one example of Sinn Fein giving excuses for the dissident republican scum. Never that is when.
Martin in Carrick wrote (243 days ago):
It's about time our politicians stopped sucking up to paramilitaries and started standing up to them, for too long now we have seen Unionist politicians sucking up to loyalist paramilitaries and the OO, we have also seen the feeble attempts of Republican politicians to condemn dissident republican attacks, only when our politicians stand together and support the PSNI will we see an improvement in the situation here and then the cost of policing will start to come down. Unfortunately that won't happen any time soon.
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