A DUP Assemblyman has lambasted a PSNI recruitment campaign in North Antrim.
David McIlveen, who is a Policing Board member is outraged that the only familiarisation day in the constituency is in Ballycastle, ignoring the majority of his constituency who live in Ballymena.
Mr McIlveen is now demanding that the PSNI hold a second familiarisation day in Ballymena.
He said: “This process has been eagerly awaited by members of my constituency, who more than most have been affected by the 50/50 recruitment and subsequent freeze on hiring. In addition, I had a number of constituents approach me about the last round of hiring, so it is not acceptable that we are battling the same concerns again.
“Whilst I know the rationale behind holding a familiarisation day in Ballycastle, it is outrageous that the two largest population centres in North Antrim (Ballymena and Ballymoney) have been ignored. When you add to this that Ballycastle demographically is almost 80% Catholic in its population, you can understand the real sense of alienation that locals are feeling.
“In my opinion, this sends out a worrying message to the protestants in my constituency, that they need not apply for these new posts. I am quite sure that this has been unintentional on the part of the PSNI, but there is no doubt there has been a considerable dent in policing as a result of this decision. We must continue to be vocal and to ensure that protestants do not feel marginalised by this process and I will continue to push the PSNI on this most important of matters.”
Applications can be made at www.joinpsni.co.uk before the closing date of 20 June.