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Police Service of Northern Ireland
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) (Irish: Seirbhís Póilíneachta Thuaisceart Éireann) is the police service that covers Northern Ireland. It was started on 4 November 2001. The old police service for Northern Ireland was the Royal Ulster Constabulary. The service is based in Cherryvalley, east Belfast. The current Chief Constable is Sir Hugh Orde OBE. The old Chief Constables were Sir Ronnie Flanagan OBE and Colin Cramphorn.
Support for the police
All the big political parties in Northern Ireland support the PSNI. Earlier, the political party Sinn Féin, who have many supporters, did not support the police. But after the St Andrews Agreement they decided to support them after a special Ard Fheis about the police on 28 January 2007. In September 2005 the PSNI started the Historical Enquiries Team to help solve 3,269 murders that happened during the Troubles. The Northern Ireland Policing Board make sure that the PSNI are fair and do a good job. The Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland investigates complaints about the police. The current Police Ombudsman is Al Hutchinson. The last Ombudsman was Nuala O'Loan. She was the Ombudsman until November 2007.
Number of Roman Catholics in the PSNI
The PSNI gives 50% of its jobs to Roman Catholics and 50% of its jobs to people who are not Roman Catholic. This is because many people think there are not enough Roman Catholics in the PSNI. By 2006, 20% of PSNI policemen were Roman Catholic. Only 8.3% of policemen in the old Royal Ulster Constabulary were Roman Catholic. About 30% of the force will be Roman Catholics by 2011.
Uniform and symbols
The colour of the PSNI uniform is green. The PSNI badge has Saint Patrick's saltire on it and six other symbols. They are the scales of justice, the harp, the torch, the olive branch, the shamrock and a crown. The flag of the PSNI is the badge in the centre of a dark green field.
- "SF delegates vote to support policing". RTÉ News (Radio Telefís Éireann). 2007-01-28. http://www.rte.ie/news/2007/0128/northpolitics.html. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
- Catholics now comprise fifth of PSNI officers. Eircom.
- Police Emblems and Flags Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002 Statutory Rule 2002 No. 23