Sunday, October 28, 2007

PSNI On Target For Catholic Recruits

Ongoing work to increase the number of Catholics in Northern Ireland’s police service seems to be having an impact.

Almost a quarter of PSNI officers are now from the Catholic community, latest figures show.

In a response to a parliamentary question asked by Lord Laird, the NIO Minister of State, Lord Rooker said 23% of the police service was drawn from the Catholic community.

The deputy leader of the Lords also told the Ulster Unionist peer, John Laird that almost 100 police officers, (1.31% of the force), were born in the Irish Republic.

N I Policing Board member Dolores Kelly has welcomed the news.

The SDLP Assembly member for Upper Bann said it meant the force was on course for its target of 30%, due to be achieved by the time 50/50 recruitment is due to end in 2011.

“It is clear that more young people than ever are interested in applying to the police where they mightn’t have been sure before," Ms Kelly said.

"Around 44% of 7,000 applications for the most recent intake were from the Catholic community and we very much welcome this."

In addition it was revealed that the proportion of women in the police had risen to 22%.

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