'Fixation on individuals damaging' as Policing Board meets to discuss PSNI crisis

Alliance MLA Nuala McAllister has said the "fixation on individuals" is becoming damaging for the PSNI.

She was speaking ahead of a Policing Board meeting in Belfast on Thursday morning.

Meanwhile DUP MLA and board member Trevor Clarke said the board will aim to bring the PSNI "back to where it should be".

He added: "I think it would be unfair to say no one is concerned at the minute because we all are."

It comes after rank and file officers from the Police Federation unanimously passed a vote of no confidence in Deputy Chief Constable Mark Hamilton on Wednesday.

They also expressed no confidence in the PSNI's chief operating officer Pamela McCreedy, and assistant chief officer Clare Duffield.

"Alliance have been clear from the very start that we need to have proper process, and that's why we called for a review of the senior executive team," Ms McAllister said.

"But the fixation on individuals I think is getting really unhealthy for the PSNI and we need to make sure that as a board, we do our work, we ask the right questions we hold people to account.

"Today there are many items on the agenda. It's not just about the crisis that's actually facing the PSNI today, but it's about making sure that the PSNI continues because remember, there are officers on the ground still doing the work.

"So there's a lot of issues to get through today, and we'll make sure that we do our role properly."

Mark Hamilton was placed in command of the PSNI after Simon Byrne resigned on Monday after a string of controversies.

DCC Hamilton was due to attend Wednesday's meeting of the Police Federation but was unable to because of an unplanned medical procedure.

A PSNI spokesman said the senior executive team is currently leading the organisation while Mr Hamilton recovers.

Pressure has been mounting on police leadership after a major data breach revealed the details of thousands of officers and staff.

Meanwhile a critical High Court judgment which said the disciplining of two officers following an arrest at a Troubles memorial event in Belfast in 2021 was unlawful.

Moves are currently under way to recruit a new chief constable.

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