PSNI Board face possible legal action.

Am I alone in thinking that the running of the PSNI is becoming a bit of a joke? The officers they have are very brave &,despite the being a fragile peace,risk everything to police here.

The Policing Board is facing possible legal action from a senior officer after adjourning the recruitment of a new assistant chief constable.

Four candidates were shortlisted to be interviewed on Tuesday to fill the vacancy left when Judith Gillespie was promoted to deputy chief constable.

But minutes before the interviews were due to start, the process was adjourned in a row over qualifications.

It is understood the board and the officer are seeking legal advice.

The essential criteria for the posts stated that applicants for the post should have completed the Strategic Demand Course at the national police training college at Bramshill, or a course deemed by Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary to be of equivalent standing.

The shortlist was made up of three candidates from the PSNI and one from the Metropolitan Police in London.

Three of the candidates, Chief Superintendent Alan Todd, the former commander in the Craigavon and Armagh area, and Chief Superintendent Will Kerr, who is head of police training, and the candidate from the Met had completed the Bramshill course.


The fourth, Chief Superintendent Gary White, former police commander in north and west Belfast, had not.

But he has completed another course - the Executive Development Programme run by the Irish police in County Tipperary.

My understanding is that just over two years ago, PSNI officers were told the Garda course would be regarded as equivalent to the Bramshill course.

Ch Supt White, and one other chief superintendent, then completed the course and believed that qualified them to apply for jobs up to the rank of assistant chief constable.

When Ch Supt White arrived for interview on Tuesday some members of the interview panel raised concerns about his eligibility and the process was adjourned.

In a statement to the BBC the Policing Board confirmed that the recruitment process had been deferred.

The board held an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the issue and said they hope to re-arrange the interviews for the position in October.

This dispute could have serious implications for police recruitment.

It is understood that at least two members of the PSNI's senior command team have applied for other jobs. If successful, they could soon be on the move.

If that happens, the Policing Board will not be able to appoint replacements if this dispute has not been resolved.

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