'No confidence' in Orde after reserve cuts

Union representatives of rank and file police today passed a vote of no confidence in Northern Ireland Chief Constable Hugh Orde over his decision to reduce his full-time reserve force by more than half.

Union representatives of rank and file police today passed a vote of no confidence in Northern Ireland Chief Constable Hugh Orde over his decision to reduce his full-time reserve force by more than half.

A spokesman for the Police Federation said they were furious at the extent of the cutbacks.

The Superintendents Association also asked for an urgent meeting to express its concern.

The anger among his officers emerged just after Mr Orde confirmed to the Northern Ireland Policing Board that he intended to retain 680 out of nearly 1,500 officers – few than had been expected by the Federation and Association.

Some believe he made the decision because of political pressure.

But Mr Orde insisted: “It is an operational decision that takes the current security situation into account and I accept responsibility for that.”

The Federation accused the Chief Constable of rejecting the professional advice of its members and the Superintendents Association.

Retaining 800 would have been the right decision, it said.

A statement added: “Our conclusion has to be that his decision is politically informed. Central Committee has therefore passed a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the Chief Constable.

“His ability to exercise independence of judgment has been compromised.”

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