Commenting on the crisis that led to the resignation of the chief constable Simon Byrne last week, Jim Gamble said the policing board’s “fingerprints are on this problem from the beginning”.
During a judicial review hearing into the discipling of two officers who arrested a man who had been attending a Troubles atrocity commemoration in south Belfast, it emerged that policing board representatives had been able to view the officers’ bodycam footage at a very early stage of the PSNI’s own investigation into the circumstances.
Mr Gamble said: "The policing board – instead of stepping back and holding people to account, by making sure they are seeking the right insight in their governance role… became far too comfortable, far too cosy, getting involved in viewing videos during an operational response”.
Mr Gamble said “I don’t see how the current leadership of the board can stay".
Speaking to the BBC's Sunday Politics, he said: "How it thought it could allow [deputy chief constable] Mark Hamilton, de facto to step into the chief’s role, when there are serious allegations regarding conduct. Allegations, I’m not saying they’re proven, around the conduct of the chief, and his deputy, at the time. It’s mind-boggling – they are not thinking ahead”.
Mr Gamble went on to say: "This is a shadow of the initial policing board that really got things right, and helped push policing in the right direction”.
Speaking on the same programme, former justice minister Claire Sugden called for an "end-to-end" investigation into policing in NI.
The Department of Justice has agreed to carry out a review of the policing board, which oversees the PSNI. However, the independent MLA said there was a need for a review of the entire policing system, on the scale of the Patten report.
"I think we need to go much wider... this isn't the only issue in the last number of years,” she said.
In a statement on Thursday, the policing board said its priority over the last few days “has been to bring stability and confidence in what has been an unprecedented time for policing”.