18 January 2006

PSNI in crime claims pre-IMC report

Daily Ireland

By Jarlath Kearney


The PSNI last night reportedly claimed the IRA was involved in “organised crime”.
The reported comments come ahead of an imminent report by the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC).
Both governments had expressed hope that the commission’s next report would unlock the potential for political talks.
During a private meeting with members of the Policing Board yesterday, Assistant Chief Constable Sam Kinkaid reportedly alleged that IRA activities were continuing.
The BBC and UTV both broadcast versions of the reported remarks.
Mr Kinkaid is the current head of the PSNI crime operations department. He is expected to retire from the PSNI next month.
A PSNI spokesperson last night declined to comment on the detail of Mr Kinkaid’s reported remarks.
“It was a confidential briefing in a private meeting with the board. These briefings do occur regularly,” said the spokesperson.
In July last year, the IRA declared an end to its armed campaign and ordered its members to cease all activities. The organisation subsequently put all its weapons beyond use in September under the supervision of General John de Chastelain.
Speaking before a debate at University College Dublin last night, Sinn Féin policing spokesman Gerry Kelly reiterated his party’s demand for political progress in the coming months.
Mr Kelly was addressing a debate on policing that included former Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald, Fianna Fáil senator Martin Mansergh and SDLP leader Mark Durkan.
“Seven years ago, the negotiating process culminated in the Good Friday Agreement. We won the argument that the status quo had failed, including policing and justice,” Mr Kelly said.
“The Agreement declared we needed a new beginning to policing and defined the criteria for a civic policing service. That is the position Sinn Féin supports. Achieving this is a priority issue and task for Sinn Féin.
“Since 1998, we have seen the British government enact flawed legislation on policing and on justice. On both occasions, we have fought and eventually won amending legislation to repair some of the damage and restore the agenda for change.
“The record of the last seven years shows the huge advances which have been made. We know that good laws will not in themselves end bad policing. But bad laws would make good policing all but impossible.
“That is why the onus is on the British government to bring forward its proposals and to enact legislation to give full expression to the transfer of powers away from London and out of the hands of British securocrats,” Mr Kelly said.

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