Police forces launch exchange programme
A member of the 26-County Garda police is to be deployed to the PSNI in the North as part of a new exchange programme.
Joint protocols were signed in February - designed to boost closer cooperation between the services - covering exchange placement and secondment.
It is now being reported that a Garda superintendent will be sent to the north next month in the first exchange move and will be based at Garnerville police college in east Belfast.
This will be followed by more gardai personnel in the new year.
It is unclear when PSNI members will be sent to join An Garda Siochana in the South but it is thought the timing would be similar to the gardai placements.
News that the exchange placement was close to implementation has been broadly welcomed, but Sinn Féin said movement on policing reform was much too slow.
Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly said: “Since the Patten Commission reported six years ago, actual lateral entry of Garda has been repeatedly long fingered.
“If it is true that a single Garda, in civilian clothes, with no policing powers, is to be sent to the north, that is not what Patten recommended.
“Such a move would only show the way in which some quarters continue to resist the full implementation of Patten and the new beginning to policing.”
This week the PSNI launched its latest recruitment campaign.
The Garda also placed advertisements in newspapers in the north for new recruits.