Four PSNI members have been suspended after they were caught on camera singing sectarian songs and waving guns while joyriding in their patrol vehicles.
The PSNI’s admission that four members of its “elite” Armed Response Unit had been removed from their duties comes just days after PSNI Chief Hugh Orde applied to become the next head of London’s Metropolitan Police.
It is understood one of the men held the rank of sergeant. Another four officers have been ‘re-positioned’.
It is understood the men can be seen on footage from a mobile phone waving a gun out of a PSNI vehicle as it is driven at top speed before performing a high-speed handbrake turn.
The men can reportedly be heard singing anti-Catholic ‘war songs’.
The incident has highlighted failures in the policing reform program initiated by Tory MP Chris Patten under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
Policing Board chairman Sir Desmond Rea said: ‘Such alleged behaviour is completely unacceptable, transgresses the code of ethics and besmirches the reputation of the PSNI as a whole.’
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Policing issues Alex Maskey said that the PSNI investigation needed to be completed quickly and the results including disciplinary measures made public.
“For reasons of community confidence and good practice it is vital that this investigation is completed quickly and the results including disciplinary measures made public.
“If it is proven that these allegations are true then I am in no doubt that the public will expect those involved to be removed from the PSNI.”
GARDA APOLOGISE FOR DEATH
Meanwhile, the Garda police in the 26 Counties has been forced to apologise and pay compensation to the Rossiter family after a jury returned an open verdict on the death of 14-year-old schoolboy Brian Rossiter in a cell at Clonmel Garda station.
The jury found in accordance with the medical evidence that Brian died from a blunt force trauma to the head. It had been ordered not to return a verdict of unlawful killing.
A settlement was subsequently reached in the civil law suit taken by the family against the Gardai.
The law suit alleged that the boy’s death was caused by assault and battery by members of the Garda during his arrest or detention.
Following the outcome of the inquest, the Rossiter family accepted damages amounting to O200,000 as well as legal costs and a written expression of regret acknowledging wrongdoing on the part of the Garda.