‘‘As a firm supporter of Neighbourhood Policing, I am alarmed at the projected loss of 75 officers. Given the pressures facing PSNI resources, there is also likely to be review of shift patterns, which could see further reduction in neighbourhood resources.
Significant gaps are emerging as a result of trends in leavers, with expertise across ranks and specialisms being lost to the organisation. There needs to be a realisation that it is impossible to simply turn the tap on and off when it comes to officer numbers. For every year of cuts, it will take another two or three to re-grow.
Policing is in a very serious and perilous situation. Indeed, it is not clear that the public are aware of just how much an impact a reducing budget is having, and will have, in the future.