The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has announced it will take a lead role in a justice careers evening next week.
Amid much media reporting about the efforts to attract more Catholic recruits to the police force, the event being promoted by the order is set to be attended not just by representatives of the PSNI, but also the Prison Service and PPS.
Also set to attend are representatives of the Attorney General’s Office, Forensic Science NI, and Youth Justice Agency.
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is providing the venue – the Des Allen Suite at Ballymena Showgrounds.
The borough has been hard hit in recent years with layoffs arising from the closures of Michelin, JTI, and other firms.
The Orange Order’s youth development officer Gary McAllister said it was important to bear in mind that the PSNI’s latest recruitment drive opened on February 4 and closes on February 25 – “meaning this event will fall right in the middle of the recruitment campaign, giving attendees an excellent opportunity to get real, helpful advice on how to go about applying for the various roles within the PSNI”.
Currently 66.6% of officers are “perceived Protestant”, 32% “perceived Catholic”, and 1.4% “not determined”. A total of 0.53% are from an ethnic minority, and 29.7% are women.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said: “As part of our ongoing engagement within local communities we are happy to take part in the criminal justice careers fair.”
The fair will be on Tuesday, February 11, from 7pm.