‘Challenge for nationalists on PSNI recruitment’

Gregory Campbell.  Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye.
Gregory Campbell. Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye.

East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has called on nationalist political parties to respond positively to comments made by the Chief Constable about recruitment to the police.

The Chief Constable had earlier this week highlighted a greater “attrition rate” for people from within the Catholic community who drop out between the point of applying to join the Police and the end of the process.

Mr Hamilton said there was a “real need for wider nationalism to take yet another step in terms of policing” and it required “politicians, civic leaders and church leaders to advocate for a career in policing”.

Commenting after the meeting the DUP MP said: “The Chief Constable’s message was quite clear; that nationalist representatives need to move beyond a simple statement that they support policing to becoming advocates for people from the catholic community to choose policing as a career.

“All too often when we hear nationalist representatives talking about police recruitment the only remedy they propose is a return to institutionalised discrimination by 50/50 recruitment.

“It was vital to end that discriminatory practice against protestants while unionist political leaders maintained continued support for police recruitment among protestants. What is required is more than just lip service being paid to policing by political nationalism.

“The Chief Constable was clear that it needs to move beyond simply outlining a support for policing to positively advocating a career in policing.

“As the Chief Constable said ‘it is that level of advocacy that I think we need to really make a seachange’.

“There is a clear challenge here for nationalism. Just as we unionists stood against dissident republicans who attempted to harass and intimidate at police recruitment events so the SDLP and SF need to do likewise.”