Following a slew of scandals that beset the police department, including what he termed as a “industrial scale” data leak. The Northern Ireland chief police officer announced his resignation on Monday.
Simon Byrne has officially and immediately resigned from his position as chief constable, according to the Northern Ireland Policing Board.
Since all active police officers’ personal information was unintentionally released last month in response to a freedom of information request, Byrne has come under increasing pressure to resign.
Northern Ireland Chief
Around 10,000 cops and other staff members’ surnames, initials, locations, and departments were included in the information. Dissident Irish republicans allegedly claimed to have information against police officers after the event, according to the police.
The breach was especially sensitive because of the precarious security situation in Northern Ireland. Which is still working to recover from decades of sectarian conflict known as “The Troubles.” Many police personnel continue to conceal their identity 25 years after a peace accord. Mostly put a stop to the violence due to persistent threats from dissident republican and unionist factions.
After a High Court judge last week decided that two rookie cops were wrongfully penalised over an arrest conducted at a 2021 Troubles remembrance event, Byrne came under more criticism.
The judge claimed that the disciplining of the officers was intended to calm any fears that Sinn Féin may stop funding Northern Ireland’s police force. According to Sinn Fein, there was no such threat.
Byrne had declared he wouldn’t step down and that he was thinking about filing an appeal against the court’s decision.
Byrne, though, stated that it was “time for someone new” to lead the force in a statement released on Monday.
According to Jeffrey Donaldson, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, Byrne’s departure gave authorities a chance to regain the public’s and the police force’s lost trust.