Jordan Moates: Questions over PSNI management and Policing Board foresight

Deputy Chief Constable Mark Hamilton.
PSNI Deputy Chief Constable Mark Hamilton. Credit: PA

It’s the crisis that keeps getting deeper. 

That High Court judgment had many different facets, involving multiple levels of the PSNI. 

Simon Byrne felt the wrath from the outset, others were likely happy the focus wasn’t on them. 

It's become clear the problem goes deeper than the now former Chief Constable. 

Mr Byrne avoided rank and file officers officially declaring they had no confidence in him. 

The man now in command finds himself in that exact position. 

Deputy Chief Constable Mark Hamilton was also embroiled in Mr Justice Schofield's ruling last week. 

Some think his position is untenable and believe he should resign, allowing someone who has support from officers on the ground to lead the organisation.  

If that were to happen this crisis is far from over. 

The fact the legislation doesn’t appear to allow for the absence of a both Chief and Deputy Chief Constable is an indicator of just how difficult the current situation is. 

An organisation in a state of flux can only operate like that for a short period. 

What happens if a genuine crisis emerges from an operational point of view. 

If the incident at the centre of all this was to play out again today, is the chain of command crystal clear at the top? 

The Policing Board is meeting once again, these meetings becoming so regular and lengthy the media have begun bringing deck chairs to bask in the sunshine while we wait for any developments. 

Board members have a very serious job, they know they are under intense scrutiny. There are questions about how the board operates, with a full review likely. 

If we even take the fact the board extended Mr Byrne's contract only a matter of months ago it raises the question of how much foresight the board had. 

This High Court ruling didn’t come out of the blue, it was in court earlier in the year. 

Some have argued the board should really have waited until the outcome was clear before extending the contract. 

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