PSNI to recruit trainee officers

Policing Board elects its first woman chair

The PSNI is to hold a recruitment drive in the autumn, the force's deputy chief constable Judith Gillespie has told the North's Policing Board.

No figures were disclosed at the meeting but it is understood that about 60-80, and possibly more, trainee officers, will be taken on in the autumn.

With more than 1,000 officers due to reach retirement age over the next three years it is expected that recruitment will continue in the coming years to maintain the number of PSNI officers at just over 7,000. There had been a ban on recruitment due to cuts to the police budget.

Deputy chief constable Ms Gillespie said she wanted to see more officers joining from areas where recruitment was low. “We know we have an issue with recruiting police officers working in uniform and response in the Foyle area. We also know that’s an issue in Strabane and to a lesser extent Omagh,” she said.


Currently there is 30 per cent Catholic representation in the PSNI. The 50:50 Catholic/Protestant recruitment policy no longer applies.

Meanwhile, the Policing Board has elected its first chairwoman. Anne Connolly takes up the 2-year post on June 1st replacing Brian Rea. The new vice-chairman will be Stuart McDonnell who replaces Gearoid O hEara.

Ms Connolly, who has a background as an educationalist, is director of Planning and Performance with Libraries Northern Ireland. Mr McDonnell, a former chief executive of the Northern Health and Social Services Board, has a non-executive position with the British Department of Health overseeing health and social services regulatory bodies throughout the UK.


Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty is the former Northern editor of The Irish Times