Northern Ireland

PSNI chief constable 'deeply concerned' about funding

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Media captionGeorge Hamilton said it was his understanding the extra £30m will have to be paid back next year

The chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland has said he is still "deeply concerned" about funding, in spite of an extra £30m going to the Department of Justice.

George Hamilton said it was not clear how much of it would go to the PSNI.

He said the time ahead would be "very challenging" for the police.

"We are already advised that there will be between a 10% to 15% cut next year plus presumably paying off the 'credit card bill' of the £30m," he said.

The extra £30m is coming out of a loan of up to £100m from the Treasury agreed by Stormont ministers on Thursday to help ease the Northern Ireland Executive's budget crisis.

George Hamilton said it was his understanding the money would have to be paid back next year.

He had previously said the service would be unrecognisable next year because of cuts.

"So I am still deeply concerned. But I welcome any relief of the pressure we are currently facing," he added.

The chief constable was speaking in Belfast at the graduation ceremony for 38 new police recruits.

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