Northern Ireland

NI Policing Board criticised over performance targets

A recent public meeting of the Northern Ireland Policing Board
Image caption The Northern Ireland Policing Board was set up to hold the police to account

The Northern Ireland Policing Board has been criticised by the Audit Office for the way it holds the police and chief constable to account.

The board publishes annual policing objectives, priorities and indicators to measure police performance.

The Audit Office criticised a lack of precise targets for improvement in this year's plan.

It said performance standards in its 2013/14 plan lacked clarity about the degree of improvement required.

In the absence of precise targets, comptroller and auditor general Kieran Donnelly said he was concerned that the effectiveness of the board's scrutiny and accountability would be diminished.

The Policing Board has said it welcomed the report and has accepted all of its recommendations.

In a statement, it said board members had already held discussions with the chief constable about developing performance targets for the policing plan covering a three-year period from April next year.

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