An over-burdened PSNI often has to send three police officers to crimes that would routinely be dealt with by just one officer in a normal place, an inspection report has revealed.
And the force spends 38 per cent of its entire budget on dealing with sectarianism and violent extremism, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has found.
“Where three officers are allocated to a report of burglary in an area of specific threat to officer safety from dissident terrorists, one officer has a duty state on the system showing enquiries and the two others are shown providing protection for the officer.
“This indicates that the cost to the PSNI of guarding its crime investigators can be as much as double the cost of the PSNI’s investigation of the crime itself,” the inspection report states.
And as the inspectors point out, this adds up.
“When the costs of individual activities are added together the cost of ‘normal’ policing activity represents 62 percent of the total policing budget, 10 percent of the budget is spent on Northern Ireland-specific activity and 28 percent is spent on dealing with violent extremism.”