Video: Republican violence makes Catholic recruitment difficult, says Simon Byrne

Violence from dissident republicans is making it very difficult to recruit Catholic PSNI officers, the Chief Constable Simon Byrne has conceded.

Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 12:51 pm
PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne.

He told the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee at Westminster that he hoped more progress on recruiting Catholic members could be made.

"If we are being quite honest, we started the morning with a quick commentary on the dissident republican threat to attack officers.

"That makes it very difficult to join, particularly for colleagues from Catholic communities, because they sometimes need to have conversations about not telling their family per se, or they have to move away from friends, family and all sorts of networks. It can isolate people," he said.

Mr. Byrne said making progress would not be easy.

"We need to redouble our efforts. Only eventually when we get critical mass will we achieve that.

"My worry is that if we are not careful, we will be on a slippery slope and be going the wrong way," he remarked.