30 November 2005

SOME PSNI MEMBERS INTENT ON UNDERMINING PROCESS SAYS ADAMS

Irish American Information Service

11/30/05 13:05 EST

Some police officers in Northern Ireland opposed to power sharing and the Good Friday Agreement are intent on undermining the process, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said today.

As Sinn Fein Assembly member Francie Brolly continued to be questioned by detectives investigating an IRA triple car bomb attack in Claudy, Co Derry in 1972, Mr Adams claimed political policing was being allowed to go unchecked in Northern Ireland.

He also said the remaining challenge for the British Government was to make policing more accountable by transferring policing and justice powers from Westminster to a new devolved administration at Stormont.

As he confirmed more republicans in west Belfast had been told their lives were in danger following the discovery of a security forces dossier containing their personal details in loyalist hands, Mr Adams said: "Hugh Orde said in early 2003 that there are some in the PSNI who want him to fail. I believe that there are still securocrats who want the Agreement, power-sharing and negotiations for a new beginning to policing, to fail."

"The evidence of the last three years shows that many of them are still in the PSNI."

In November 2001, the Royal Ulster Constabulary, which was 93% Protestant, became the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) following the implementation of some recommendations proposed by the Patten commission on police reform.

In a bid to increase Catholic and nationalist numbers, half of all PSNI recruits are drawn from the Catholic community while hundreds of RUC officers also left the force under a very generous severance package.

With police accountability regarded a key issue for nationalists, Northern Ireland Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde and his officers are answerable to a Policing Board made up of locally elected politicians and independent members and to local district policing partnerships.

Complaints against the police are also investigated by the Police Ombudsman Nuala O`Loan`s investigative team.

The nationalist SDLP, Irish government and Catholic bishops have backed the reforms and the Irish sporting organisation, the Gaelic Athletic Association lifted a ban on police officers playing Gaelic football and hurling.

However, Sinn Fein has withheld its support, pointing out that key Patten Report recommendations have not been implemented.

Mr Adams today accused the SDLP of jumping too soon to endorse policing and said the party was to blame for political policing.

"In four years on the Policing Board, they have failed to hold the political detectives publicly to account and failed to end collusion and political policing," he said.

"In Westminster two weeks ago, their MPs voted for the reintroduction of 28-day detention orders, taking us back to the days of the old Special Powers Act opposed by the Civil Rights movement."

The Sinn Fein leader said his party wanted to ensure there would be no safe haven for politically-motivated policing in the future.

The West Belfast MP reported: "In negotiations on policing and justice since the Agreement, we have made huge progress. The core outstanding issue now is the transfer of powers on policing and justice away from London and out of the hands of British securocrats. Only in that way can policing be made democratically accountable and a new beginning to policing on this island be attainable."


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