I DISSIDENTI NON TRARRANNO VANTAGGIO DAI TAGLI DI BILANCIO

L’unionista Jim Spratt assicura che, nonostante non siano ancora stati delineati i dettagli della manovra decisa dal Cancelliere George Osborne per quanto riguarda l’Irlanda del Nord, alla polizia verranno garantiti i mezzi per fronteggiare l’attuale minaccia dissidente

Il futuro della PSNI resta nebuloso, soprattutto alla luce del taglio di 1,2 miliardi di sterline le cui ripercussioni non si possono sapere al momento. Prima dell’annuncio di George Osbone alla Camera dei Comuni avvenuto mercoledì, “la polizia era stata in trattative con il Tesoro per essere sicuri di trovare i finanziamenti necessari per contrastare adeguatamente l’attuale minaccia terroristica, continuando a fornire al contempo personale professionale e ad erogare il servizio di protezione”, ha dichiarato un portavoce della PSNI.
A rincuorare gli animi è il membro DUP nonchè del Policing Board, Jim Spratt. “Il governo di coalizione è ben consapevole della crescente minaccia repubblicana non solo qui in Irlanda del Nord, ma anche sulla terraferma”, ma ne consegue che “se ci sono risparmi da fare, allora non ci terremo alla larga da questa sfida”, perchè non è possibile supporre che non vi siano sprechi nella gestione del servizio di polizia.
Ci sono però alcuni punti che dovranno essere discussi. Se da un lato è consistente il numero di civili che collaborano con la PSNI, rimane la questione degli ‘straordinari’ di polizia “che è qualcosa che abbiamo discusso dovrebbero essere pagati dal bilancio di sicurezza nazionale”, dichiara Spratt che non tralascia le incertezze che circondano la scuola di formazione di polizia a Cookstown e la disponibilità di fondi per l’Historical Enquieres Team, “ma dobbiamo essere risoluti, la nostra priorità è affrontare la minaccia repubblicana.”

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‘Dissidents will not gain from budget cuts’ (Newsletter)

Dissident republicans will not gain from any proposed cuts to the PSNI’s budget after this week’s comprehensive spending review, a DUP assembly member has said.
Yesterday, the police conceded that the cuts “will have an impact on policing in Northern Ireland”, but stressed that the need to secure necessary funding to tackle the current terrorist threat from republicans has been vigorously expressed to the treasury in London.
“While the scale of the cuts announced will have an impact on policing in Northern Ireland, it will be some time before we will know the full details,” a police spokesman told the News Letter yesterday.
“We have been planning for a tight funding environment for some time and will continue to act responsibly to ensure we meet these challenges head on.
“Prior to the announcements made by the government on Wednesday, the police had been in discussions with the treasury to ensure we secure the funding necessary to adequately counter the current terrorist threat whilst at the same time continuing to deliver a personal, professional and protective policing service.”
As police offcers continue to put their lives at risk dealing with increasing terrorist attacks, there had been fears over what any cuts to the £1.2 billion budget for the PSNI would mean for the security situation in the province.
DUP policing board member Jimmy Spratt said he was confdent that a reduced cash pot would not affect front-line policing.
“The coalition government is well aware of the growing threat from dissident republicans not just here in Northern Ireland, but also on the mainland,” said Mr Spratt.
“Like many areas of public life, we do not know what the exact effects of the spending review will have on our police force, but if we have to make some savings, then there is no way that it will affect our ability to deal with the terrorists.
“The chief constable, Matt Baggott, has already made his feelings very clear on this.”
So where will cuts to the PSNI budget, come from?
Mr Spratt said the policing board will be taking a “close look” at every aspect of the force.
“We cannot assume that there is no wastage in the PSNI. If there are savings to be made, then we will not shy away from that challenge,” he said.
“At present, we have a substantial number of civilians working for the PSNI – we will see if these resources are being maximised.
“There is also the issue of police overtime, that is something which we have been arguing should be paid for out of the national security budget.”
Mr Spratt said he was concerned over the already uncertain future of the policing training college in Cookstown, and the availability of funding for the historical enquiries team within the PSNI.
“There will now be serious questions over the police college and historical enquiries – there may be some diffcult decisions ahead – but we must remain firm, that our priority is dealing with the threat from republicans.”
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Owen Paterson MP said the allegation that the government had broken its word on committing to Northern Ireland’s £18 billion investment strategy as set out by the then chancellor in May 2007, was “completely untrue”

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