Irish Republican News · May 15, 2007
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Sinn Féin confirms policing move

Sinn Féin has confirmed that it will take up its seats on the North’s Policing Board, which has a supervisory role with the PSNI police.

The Ard Chomhairle [leadership] met in Dublin on Saturday and cleared the way for three members of the assembly party to take their seats when the board meets next month.

The decision remains controversial with republican traditionalists.

Announcing the decision, Mr Maskey said: “Some weeks ago Gerry Adams indicated that in the event of the political institutions going live he would propose to the Ard Chomhairle that Sinn Féin take up our places on the Policing Board.

“Yesterday’s meeting of the Ard Chomhairle agreed that Daithi McKay, Martina Anderson and myself would go forward to represent the party.”

Mr Maskey said he and his colleagues were going on the board to hold the PSNI to account.

“On the Policing Board we will provide the voice for communities who have in the past experienced only bad policing.

“We want to play a constructive role on the board but we will not shy away from challenging or criticising or questioning policing de-cisions and policy when the need arises.”

The old board met last early this month. It will meet early next month with its political membership reconstituted to reflect Sinn Féin’s arrival and the strengths in the new assembly.

Mr Maskey said Sinn Féin had set themselves a number of objectives which they intended to deliver through their membership of the policing board and local district policing partnerships.

He said they included insuring:

* A civic policing service, accountable and representative of the community, was delivered as quickly as possible.

* That the chief constable and the PSNI were publicly held to account.

* That policing with the community was achieved as the core function of the PSNI.

* That political policing, collusion and the “force within a force” was a thing of the past. They would also be opposing any involvement by MI5 in civic policing.

* That the issue of plastic bullets was properly addressed.

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© 2007 Irish Republican News