Lagan Valley MLA Brenda Hale has pledged to continue monitoring police sick-leave after learning it was costing the PSNI £25 million a year.
Of figures revealed in her question, as a Policing Board member, to the Chief Constable, the DUP MLA said, ‘The headline figure that sickness absence is costing the PSNI £25.1 million is very concerning, particularly in the current financial climate. At a time when the Chief Constable is highlighting the budgetary pressures that he faces, it is vital that he tackles the problem of sickness absence within the PSNI.
“There will always be sickness, and particularly for front-line officers, high levels of absence increases overtime costs to cover this leave and it also puts a great deal of extra pressure on already busy officers.
To put the costs in context, sick leave across the whole of the Northern Ireland Civil Service between 2010 and 2011 cost a total of around £30million whilst in the PSNI the annual cost is currently estimated at £25million.
“The need for action has been recognised by the PSNI, with monthy reports coming to the Resources Committee of the Policing Board.
“I will continue to monitor the issue to see what progress is made in the coming months.”