Politics in Northern Ireland may be in limbo, but policing continues along a solid path of structural reform.
The latest report from the 'oversight commissioner' Al Hutchinson who monitors the implementation of the Patten report of 1999 will be an encouragement to Chief Constable Hugh Orde and a morale-booster for his officers.
"What this 13th oversight report clearly demonstrates is that some six years after the release of the Independent Commission's recommendations, the primary institutions of policing the Police Service, the Policing Board and the Ombudsman have largely accomplished, or are well on the way to accomplishing, the recommendations' full intent," the report concludes.
The PSNI is steadily becoming more representative, with more than 15,000 Catholics having applied to join since the new 50:50 recruitment scheme was launched.
The proportion of Catholic officers has more than doubled since 1998.
There is still some way to go, but the change is rapid.
An important spin-off is that proportionality in policing, when realised, should finally bring the position of Catholics in employment as a whole into line with their percentage in the workforce.
And while this receives less attention though it is key to a move from paramilitary-style to community policing the balance of men and women in the service has also markedly changed.
Thirty-five per cent of trainees are now female.
Meanwhile, absenteeism is down. Unacceptable levels were indicators of poor morale and poor management, but the trend is now in the right direction.
Most people on the street will be more concerned that the police turn up promptly when called than about their religious persuasion.
Here too there is positive news in the latest crime statistics, which for the second year running show a drop in reported crime.
Nevertheless, many remain unconvinced, and if someone has their house burgled or their car stolen, then no amount of statistics will console them.
This report, while generally positive, also raises issues of wider concern.
Mr Hutchinson pulls no punches on what is holding back further progress, especially towards a more balanced policing service.
"Intimidation and fear of attack on themselves and relatives continue to be given as the main reasons by young Catholics for not joining the Police Service," he writes.
"Another critical factor impeding further progress relates to the lack of full community support for the new policing structures," he adds.
As the campaign by the McCartney sisters has highlighted, the rule of law underpins any civil society.