Responding to the announcement that the PSNI Chief Constable will be drafting in additional policing support for the World Police and Fire Games, TUV Leader Jim Allister said:
“While I am supportive of utilising experienced police officers from other UK forces, the PSNI reliance during the G8, 12th July Parades and now the World Police and Fire Games raises serious questions about PSNI operational capability.
“The reduced capability of the PSNI can be traced back to the disastrous implementation of the Patten Report and the abolition of the Full Time Reserve. Jeffrey Donaldson once claimed the retention of the Full Time Reserve was a pre-condition for the devolution of Policing and Justice “because not only will the DUP not agree to it but the public confidence will not be there to make it happen. That is absolutely clear”. In his words it categorically was a ‘deal-breaker’. But like so many other “deal-breakers” the pledge to retain the FTR was quickly abandoned by the DUP as they fell over themselves to accommodate the demands of Sinn Fein.
“The reality is this – Northern Ireland is still at severe risk of terrorist attack and the Full Time Reserve was essential in supplementing the PSNI ranks at times when they were under strain.
“TUV was consistent in its support for the retention of the Full Time Reserve, it is a great shame that another Unionist party’s support disappeared when it became politically expedient to do so.”