Northern Ireland

PSNI officers 'work unpaid extra day every month'

PSNI officers
Image caption The survey found that two fifths of officers worked most - if not all - of their daily breaks

Police officers in Northern Ireland work almost a day of unpaid overtime every month, according to a survey by the Police Federation.

It found that two fifths of officers also worked most - if not all - of their daily breaks.

The organisation says the extra work affects personal lives and that police funding needs to be addressed.

In response, the PSNI said they take the welfare of their officers and staff extremely seriously.

Mark Lindsay of the Police Federation said the Northern Ireland Executive had to realise the strain police were under.

"The PSNI is under-resourced and under-staffed," he said.

"The consequence of this is that officers are working flat out to keep the service ticking over. Indeed, over 90% said that even when they're off duty, they're answering calls on police-related matters.

"This highlights the level to which policing in NI has become reliant on the goodwill of officers.

"Family life is severely disrupted. Plans are turned upside down and this causes disappointment and upset and puts family relationships under severe strain.

Image caption Mark Lindsay of the Police Federation said the PSNI is under-resourced and under-staffed

"As an unwelcome consequence, there is a rise in long-term sickness levels. In turn, that places even more pressure on officers to plug gaping holes in the service."

Jude Helliker, head of PSNI human resources, welcomed the federation survey.

"Earlier this year, PSNI commissioned a service-wide engagement and wellbeing survey of our officers and staff," she said.

"Since then, we have established a working group to address issues, specifically including how we manage officer over-time and dealing with leave requests and rest days.

"We will continue to work closely with the Police Federation on a day-to-day basis to address both their concerns and those of their members and this survey will help us focus those discussions even further."

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