McCartney: Long-standing policing concerns need to be addressed

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Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney says long-standing concerns over the monitoring of policing performance raised by the Northern Ireland Audit Office in a new report published on Tuesday need to be addressed.

Mr. McCartney said PSNI performance should be measured on the impact it has on people’s daily lives.

He made the comments after the auditor Kieran Donnelly warned legislation underpinning the PSNI was out-dated and needed to be revisited to help address “long-standing issues” around the failure of the police and the Policing Board (NIPB) to deliver shared leadership.

“The publication of this report by the Controller and Auditor General into continuous improvement arrangements in policing raises a number of issues,” said Mr. McCartney.

“While there are some welcome indicators, the report still identifies some long-standing concerns over the relationship between the PSNI and the Policing Board on how performance is monitored.

“It is clear that some of the reporting mechanisms in place need to change in order to properly judge the PSNI’s performance.

“We need to ensure that communities can see policing make a real difference in their daily lives and for that to happen we need to see PSNI performance measured for the impact it has,” he added.

The NIAO report examined the performance summary of the Policing Board and PSNI in 2015/16 and the Policing Plan for 2016/17.

Mr. Donnelly said: “Long-standing issues remain around the need for shared leadership between the Policing Board and the PSNI and the need for effective programme and project management arrangements to drive continuous improvement.

“The legislation that underpins the audit of continuous improvement has been in place since 2000.

“Since then there have been significant changes in policing in Northern Ireland and in Great Britain.

“It is essential that the legislation continues to be relevant and linked to current initiatives in the criminal justice system.

“In my view, it is now time for the Department of Justice to consider changes to the legislation governing continuous improvement.”