A serving member of Police Service Northern Ireland on the sacrifices that have been made and the lack of support from the top
I’m a serving officer with the Police Service of Northern Ireland, from a nationalist background in West Belfast. I couldn’t join the RUC because it would have been too dangerous because of who I was and where I was from. Nevertheless, I took the plunge and eventually joined the PSNI. My immediate family had to be schooled with an elaborate backstory. Wider family were not told – I made my siblings lie to their children for years because I couldn’t trust who they would tell.
For 18 years I’ve relied on my family to help me protect my identity. I’ve denied myself a social life, and gave up sports I loved. I can’t stay in touch with old friends on social media as I need to avoid the footprint. Now this is all taken away at the click of a button (Northern Ireland police officers’ details exposed in ‘monumental’ breach, 8 August). I am worried terrorists will target my parents because it’ll be easier than getting at me.