Jon Boutcher is appointed Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Policing Board has confirmed that Jon Boutcher has been appointed as PSNI Chief Constable on a five year contract.

Jon Boutcher QPM is the new Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). The appointment was confirmed by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Chris Heaton-Harris, earlier today.

Mr Boutcher has been in office as the interim chief constable since September, following the resignation of Simon Bryne.

The new chief constable issued a statement tonight following his selection.

I am very honoured to be selected as the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

This position carries great responsibility and is a huge privilege. I look forward to leading the dedicated officers and staff of this exceptional organisation.

There is much to do and I am fully committed to delivering an outstanding policing service to address the issues which matter most to our communities.

The officers and staff of the Police Service do an extraordinary job and will have my full support.

– PSNI Chief Constable, Jon Boutcher

There is currently no Justice Minister due to the ongoing boycott of Stormont by the Democratic Unionist Party. As they would normally have to approve the appointment, it was instead approved by Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris.

The Chair of the Policing Board, Deirdre Toner, made a statement confirming the appointment.

“I am pleased to confirm that Jon Boutcher QPM is the successful candidate from this appointment competition. 

Jon takes on the leadership role for one of the most important public sector services in Northern Ireland. He is clearly committed to the challenges ahead, to tackling crime and criminality and to providing a policing service that is community based and focused on delivery to the public. 

There are also significant pieces of work to be progressed to manage and mitigate the serious financial pressures currently facing policing, and deal with confidence and other issues arising from recent events.  

As a Board we look forward to working with him as Chief Constable in dealing with the challenges faced.”  

– Policing Board Chair, Deirdre Toner

Political reaction has been coming in. Sinn Fein‘s Michelle O’Neill wished the new chief constable well in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP also expressed his gratitude to ACC Bobby Singleton who had also applied for the role.

‘‘I congratulate Jon Boutcher on his appointment to the substantive role of Chief Constable and wish him every success moving forward.

I also express my sincere gratitude to ACC Bobby Singleton for putting his name forward for consideration and wish him continued success with his career in Policing. He has much still to contribute.

There is a need for effective, efficient, and impartial policing in Northern Ireland. The recent ruling by Mr Justice Schofield laid bare that political considerations were influencing operational decisions. This has cemented longstanding concerns around two-tier policing. Such stumbling blocks to policing confidence must be removed.

The Democratic Unionist Party will be engaging with the new Chief Constable to hear his plans to restore confidence and improve relations with the Unionist community. This appointment must not be a false dawn. It should be a catalyst for delivering a Police Service that treats every tradition and community with a fair hand and avoids many of the own goals we have seen in recent times.

No-one underestimates the scale of the challenge. We need a clear focus on policing rather than politics. There is a huge deficit in the police budget and it is well documented that officer numbers are at their lowest ever level. This is already leading to a less visible police presence in our communities and in the future it will take longer to investigate crime.

Now that there is much-needed continuity within the PSNI senior command, it is essential that we see a renewed commitment on the part of the Government to provide policing with the additional resource it needs to tackle the serious challenges facing our communities head on.’’

– DUP leader, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson

The Ulster Unionist Party‘s policing board member, Mike Nesbitt MLA, congratulated Jon Boutcher.

 “I want to congratulate Jon Boutcher on his appointment. He has shown a strong start as the interim Chief Constable, improving officer and staff morale and promptly dealing with a number of challenging issues.

 “I feel we will see more of the same under his leadership and look forward to working with him through my position on the Policing Board.

 “There are some who may be disappointed that there were not more candidates for this position, I would point out that that we received 2 excellent candidates who were both more than capable to take on the role.

 “I have always said that getting policing right takes more than one person. I am pleased to see that the senior team seem to be heading in the right direction, towards rebuilding confidence, both within the rank and file and amongst the public they serve.”

– Mike Nesbitt, UUP

The leader of the Social Democratic & Labour Party, Colum Eastwood MP, is “looking forward to early engagement”.

Alliance’s John Blair MLA wished Jon Boutcher success in his new role.

Join the discussion

Other News

Scroll to Top