1. ITV Report

PSNI plans £20m cuts from April amid political uncertainty

The PFNI said there is "no room" for more cuts at the PSNI. Photo:

Police are planning to make some £20m worth of cuts because of the political instability at Stormont.

A spokesperson said they have been asked by the Department of Justice to make savings of 3% over the coming year.

Northern Ireland's budget has not yet been set amid ongoing talks to establish a new power-sharing Executive, following the election.

The Police Federation has warned there is "no room for cuts" at the PSNI.

Chairman Mark Lindsay added: "For the last number of years they have not only cut to the bone - they have cut into the bone."

He said the police service is under-staffed and under pressure, with major murder investigations taking up vital community policing resources.

Mr Lindsay said the PSNI budget had been slashed by around £300m since 2010 and manpower numbers were depleted.

The permanent secretary in the Department of Finance can take control if a budget act has not been passed at least three working days before the end of the financial year.

The official can access money not exceeding 75% of this year's spending pot and direct how it is spent.

A statement from the PSNI said: "PSNI has been asked by the Department of Justice to provide a profile of expenditure for 2017-18 based on a net 3% reduction on opening budgets.

"This work has been completed but only at a very high level and further work will continue until an agreed budget is in place.

"It is up to the politicians to set the budgets and we will work within the funding envelope which we are given, however ongoing uncertainty makes long-term planning more difficult so we look forward to a budget being set as soon as possible."