Moment of truth for the current PSNI leadership – Gerry Kelly
North Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly said the practise of retiring and rehiring former police members who received huge severance packages, was concealed and covered up by the PSNI for years.
The Sinn Féin policing spokesperson said:
“Sinn Féin welcomes the Audit Office’s publication of this report, which contains evidence and facts that the Chief Constable can no longer dispute or deny.
“It is a story of cronyism and jobs for the boys at the expense of the Police Service and the public interest.
“Sinn Féin, while the PSNI were refusing to admit it was happening, has been working to uncover the scandal of rehiring former police members who were given huge severance packages.
“Retiring and rehiring was rampant and this report proves it. The fact that £100m of public money has been spent makes it a scandal on an industrial scale.
“It undermines what Patten was about with more than 1000 police officers retired under Patten being rehired.
“A £44m contract was awarded without tendering and thousands of jobs filled without public advertisement.
“Those employed were not accountable to the Police Ombudsman or bound by PSNI’s Code of Ethics. Add to that the fact that some have been assigned sensitive roles in which they have a serious conflict of interest regarding historical enquiries.
“The Public Accounts Committee will hear evidence next week and I think the committee will play a crucial role in revealing more facts. This will also be the case in another part of this investigation carried forward by the Criminal Justice Inspectorate, which is due to report in the coming weeks.
“There is no place for an old boys’ network in the new beginning to policing we all deserve and this is the moment of truth for the current PSNI leadership.” CRÍOCH/END