Fords unilateral announcement on Chief Constable recruitment unacceptable - Kelly
Sinn Féin MLA and Policing spokesperson Gerry Kelly has stated that the Justice Minister's announcement that he is to change the recruitment criteria for the position of PSNI Chief Constable is an unwelcome and ill-timed intervention.
Speaking today Mr Kelly said:
“David Ford's unilateral decision to change the recruitment criteria for the position of Chief constable is unwelcome and ill-timed.
“He has taken this decision without seeking the agreement of the Executive or indeed the Policing Board whose responsibility it is to recruit to this position.
“The timing of this announcement comes only days after the current Chief Constable Matt Baggott said he would be stepping down and weeks after the Deputy Chief Constable, Judith Gillespie, cited the two year rule as one of the reasons why she was stepping down. It has taken the Policing Board by surprise and has angered many.
“This position of Chief Constable is one that needs to inspire confidence. Changing recruitment practices while the Policing Board is preparing an appointments panel can only be seen as an interference in that process. It is clear that David Ford has attempted a solo run in relation to this matter and should now explain himself to the Policing Board and to his Executive colleagues.”