Following the Government statement on the breach of security and data protection at the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Shailesh Vara calls on the Government to ensure that the safety of PSNI officers is put first and foremost, and not be influenced by the cost.
The Secretary of State mentioned the independence of the PSNI, and that funding issues lie with the Department of Justice and the Northern Ireland Executive, but may I press him on this issue? Will he use his considerable influence to ensure that the safety of all people is first and foremost, and not the cost? It is important that the influence he has is exerted to its fullest, because these are good people who find themselves in a very, very difficult position through no fault of their own.
I like to feel that I have considerable influence in Government, but I am not sure that is completely correct. However, I will use the influence I have to do the right thing by all those who work for the PSNI. All sorts of issues have come up over the past 25 years and since policing was devolved, but policing in Northern Ireland certainly seems to look and feel better, and it is beginning to get good outcomes for those who are being policed. I can only praise the officers and say that I will do everything in their support.