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08 Dec 2021

PSNI launches campaign to attract more Catholics

PSNI launches campaign to attract more Catholics

A recruitment drive has been launched to attract more Catholics to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) 

It comes as new figures have revealed the ongoing problems the PSNI has in hiring more officers from a Catholic background.
Of 193 officers recruited in 2020, 75% (144) were Protestant and 24% (46) were Catholic.

The recruitment drive has been launched in the week that marks 20 years since it was established. One of the aims of the PSNI has been to increase Catholic officer numbers.

The PSNI is now looking to hire 400 student officers from its latest recruitment campaign.

It is now 20 years since policing reforms were introduced in 2001, under which the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), which was overwhelmingly Protestant, was renamed the PSNI.
 
Some of the main aims of the policing reforms were to build broader community support and increase Catholic officers.
For that reason, the PSNI regularly publishes figures on the perceived religious background of applicants and officers.

However, it will take another decade to create a police service that is fully representative of Northern Ireland's community, according to Deputy Chief Constable Mark Hamilton. 

A lot of "hard work" will be required, he stressed.

In the two decades since the policing reforms, the proportion of Catholic officers has risen from 8% to 32%.

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