http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_Ser ... ecruitment
Dr Markus wrote:
Aye, i think it law now to be fair to both "sides". It has to be 50/50.
I knew that was the aim, but I didn't realise they'd achieved it.
The PSNI was initially legally obliged to operate an affirmative action policy of recruiting 50% of its trainee officers from a Catholic background and 50% from a non-Catholic background, as recommended by the Patten Report, in order to address the under-representation of the Catholic/Nationalist community that has existed for many decades in policing; in 2001 the RUC was drawn almost 92% from the Protestant/Unionist community. Many Unionist politicians perceived "50:50" as unfair, and when the Bill to set up the PSNI was going through Parliament, Minister of State Adam Ingram had stated: "Dominic Grieve referred to positive discrimination and we hold our hands up. Clause 43 refers to discrimination and appointments and there is no point in saying that that is anything other than positive discrimination." However, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission cited international human rights law to show that special measures to secure minority participation were in accordance with human rights standards and did not in law constitute 'discrimination'.
By February 2011, 29.7% of the 7,200 officers were from the Catholic community, but among the 2,500 police support staff, where the 50:50 rule operated only for larger recruitment drives, the proportion of Catholics just exceeded 18%. The British Government nevertheless proposed to end the 50:50 measure, and provisions for 'lateral entry' of Catholic officers from other police forces, with effect from end-March 2011. Following a public consultation the special measures were ended, in respect of police and support staff, in April 2011.