SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has welcomed reports that Jon Boutcher is to be appointed interim Chief Constable of the PSNI.
Mr Eastwood said that in all of the party’s dealings with Mr Boutcher through the work of Operation Kenova, he has proven to be an individual of integrity who puts the needs of victims and survivors first.
Colum Eastwood MP said:
“The challenges facing the PSNI are severe. A crisis in confidence among officers, civilian staff and the public alongside the very serious implications of the unprecedented data breach have left many feeling that the new beginning to policing has fallen far off course.
“I welcome reports today that Jon Boutcher has been identified as a suitable interim Chief Constable while the process for appointing a new Chief Constable continues.
“In all of our dealings with him through Operation Kenova, we have found Jon Boutcher to be a man of integrity who has put the needs of victims and survivors above the narrow interests of paramilitaries and state agencies. It is important that the Kenova reports are completed, published in full and that there is no undue delay.
“The scale of the challenges require new leadership of the PSNI. But the SDLP also believes it requires a return to 50:50 police recruitment to drive culture and organisational change that has at best stalled, and at worse retreated, over recent years.
“Subject to final appointment, we will be seeking an early meeting with the interim Chief Constable to discuss the significant challenges facing policing here."