SDLP Policing Board member Mark H Durkan has said that police officers are not immune to the cost of living emergency.
Mr Durkan was speaking after it emerged that the PSNI has launched a review after resignations among new recruits doubled in two years.
He said that newly recruited police officers deserve a fair wage and that he hoped the outcome of the review would be a pay rise that acknowledges the situation facing new officers.
Foyle MLA Mr Durkan said:
“Given the issues we are experiencing around police numbers it’s deeply concerning that a significant number of newly recruited police officers are resigning shortly after taking on the role. Due to the financial pressures facing the PSNI we are nowhere near the 7,500 officers promised in New Decade, New Approach and with retirements and resignations we will soon reach crisis point.
“To address this situation we need to acknowledge the situation facing our new officers and ensure that they are adequately supported and this includes in their wage packets. The salary paid to new officers does not take into account the significant risks they take every day as part of their job, with many putting their lives on the line due to the security threat in the North. The role the police service plays in our communities is an important one and an incredibly difficult one.
“If we want to attract the best candidates to join the police and keep them throughout their career then we need to pay them a fair wage. These officers are not immune from the pressures facing families across the North when it comes to paying their food, fuel and energy bills. The PSNI’s budget is under severe pressure, but we need to prioritise our staff, without them there is no police service. This is yet another situation we will struggle to address due to the DUP’s boycott of the institutions leaving us at the mercy of a Tory government.”