Parliament

Police Service of Northern Ireland: Security and Data Protection Breach

Published date : 04 September, 2023
I join the Secretary of State in offering my thanks to Simon Byrne for his service. I believe his decision today, however, is the right one. This represented a shocking breach of confidentiality not just in relation to people’s personal data, but a shocking breach in the confidence that PSNI officers and staff can have in the organisation. I pay tribute to the dedicated PSNI officers and staff who daily protect and serve the people of Northern Ireland.

The PSNI, as has been alluded to, is already suffering a crisis of funding and therefore resourcing. The officer complement is lower than it has been in the police service serving Northern Ireland than at any point since 1979. The UK Government pay £30 million a year in additional funding to meet the security challenge, but that funding was inadequate even before the breach and is surely even more inadequate now. Will the Secretary of State be a little clearer on exactly how he will give funding guarantees to the PSNI going forward, because I do not believe this is something where the buck can be passed entirely to those who are currently charged with administering devolved budgets?

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