'Police recruitment policy must change'-Campbell
EAST Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has said double standards in police recruitment must change.
He was responding to comments made by the NI Minister Paul Goggins as he reported on progress towards the Government's target of 30 per cent Catholic composition within regular officers in the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
The Catholic composition of police officers has increased from just 8.3 percent at the time of the Patten report to 26.14 per cent as of March this year. The number of Catholic applications to the PSNI has also risen significantly, with 42 per cent of applicants in the last campaign being from the Catholic community.
This is against 23.33 per cent Catholic applications in the last campaign before the introduction of the temporary provisions.
Mr Goggins also said: "As set out in the St Andrews Agreement, the temporary 50:50 recruitment arrangements to the PSNI will lapse when the Government's target of 30 per cent. Catholic officers has been achieved. We are on course to reach this target by 2010-11."
Mr Campbell told the Sentinel: "The news that the percentage of Roman Catholics in the Police in Northern Ireland has reached 25% as a result of the discriminatory practices introduced through the Patten reforms in such a short period of time is proof that the merit principle needs to be adopted as a matter of urgency.
"The so called 50/50 recruitment which disadvantages the Protestant applicants is not used in any other sphere of employment activity. For example in the Housing Executive where the under representation of Protestants among those being recruited is much worse than among Roman Catholic recruits to the Police but no 50/50 rule applies there.
"In recent years it is the case that Protestants are less likely to be Housing Officers than Roman Catholics are to be Police Officers. That is the nature of the double standards that need to end.
"There is a need in the Northern Ireland of the 21st Century for employment on an exclusively merit based approach, and that is exactly what the DUP will continue pressing for."
On Tuesday the NIHE defended its position on recruitment. A spokesperson said: "The Housing Executive is committed to the principles of fair employment and as such has had an Equal Opportunities Policy in place since the introduction of equality legislation.
"Appointments to all vacancies are on the basis of merit, and robust equality systems are in place to ensure equality legislation is adhered to. Equality of opportunity is reflected in the day to day management of staff and in the recruitment process.
"The Housing Executive developed a comprehensive Affirmative Action Plan in 2003 in consultation with the Northern Ireland Equality Commission.
"The Plan outlines a series of measures developed to specifically encourage the Protestant community to consider working for the Housing Executive in the future and therefore apply for vacancies, permanent or temporary when they arise."
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Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
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Temperature: 8 C to 13 C
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Wind direction: North west