Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson announced today that the PSNI’s recruitment policy of 50% Catholic, 50% Protestant/other will end in six days. This comes after a four-month consultation and review process ended in early February.
The original policy was created on the recommendation of the 1999 Patten report to diversify the police force. When it was implemented in 2001, some 8% of the makeup of the PSNI was Catholic. Today 29.76% of officers are from a Catholic community - nearly a third of the police force.
In a written statement to Westminster, Mr Paterson said that the 50:50 policy was no longer necessary and that the PSNI should be allowed to ‘develop naturally’ from this point on.