‘Hamilton comments 'a deflection from policing failures’ - Kelly
Sinn Féin Policing Spokesperson Gerry Kelly has accused the outgoing PSNI Chief Constable of ‘attempting to deflect from failings within policing’ by suggesting that the lack of young nationalist recruits is the responsibility of political parties.
The North Belfast MLA was speaking after George Hamilton said political and civic leaders within the nationalist community should do more to encourage young Catholics to join the PSNI.
Gerry Kelly commented: “While I am on the record as having said my door is open to assist anyone interested in a policing career, it is not and never has been the job of any political party to recruit for the PSNI.
“What George Hamilton is doing with these comments is again attempting to deflect from failings within policing itself.
“It is the PSNI which has failed to disclose all relevant information relating to legacy cases, has arrested journalists who bring the truth about collusion to the public, has an ongoing under-representation of nationalists, particularly at senior positions where less than 20 per cent are from a nationalist background and only one in five nationalists are successful in the PSNI recruitment process.
“These are the failings within policing which erode confidence in the PSNI within the nationalist community.
“That will not be resolved by careers advice from me or anyone else. It will only be addressed when the PSNI leadership confronts these failings and addresses them in a substantive way.
“If the new PSNI Chief Constable genuinely wants to create a representative policing service, which polices with the community and enjoys the confidence and support of the entire community then these are the issues he will need to prioritise in the time ahead.”