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PSNI gender equality plan ‘not fit for purpose’

7 April, 2008


Sinn Féin North Antrim MLA Daithí McKay, a member of the Policing Board Human Resources committee, has said that the PSNI Gender Action Plan is fundamentally incapable of addressing the under-representation and advancement of women and ethnic minorities within the police service.

Sinn Féin is the only party to raise serious concerns about the Gender Action Plan. Mr McKay said that the document 'lacked teeth'.

Mr McKay said:

"Recent statistics highlight the under representation of women in the PSNI and the slow rate of promotion, particularly in the more senior positions.

"Women are still seriously underrepresented at the most senior ranks of the PSNI and are over-represented at the lower grades of Police Staff. This is unacceptable. We need to ensure that our police service is properly representative.

The PSNI Gender Action Plan is fundamentally incapable of comprehensively addressing the under-representation and advancement of women and ethnic minorities within the police service.

"Sinn Fein recommended that gender employment targets be included in the Gender Action Plan. Employment targets for under-represented groups, such as ethnic minorities are already in place for other police services so there is no reason why they could not be put in place here. As such the plan published today is not fit for purpose.

"We need to ensure we have robust practices in place that will achieve the objective of having a truly representative policing service for all. This plan will not achieve that goal." ENDS

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