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Public confidence ‘exists’ for transfer of Policing and Justice Powers

11 February, 2008

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP MLA this morning welcomed the statement by An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown that it is their "shared view that the full implementation of all aspects of the St Andrews Agreement is building the community confidence necessary to enable the transfer of these powers to take place.

The Sinn Féin President was accompanied at a party press conference in Parliament Buildings by Bairbre de Brún MEP, Martina Andersons MLA and Alex Maskey MLA.

Responding to statements from the DUP leader Ian Paisley and Deputy Leader Peter Robinson on the issue of transfer of Power on Policing and Justice Mr. Adams said:

"It is ironic that 36 years ago next month - in March 1972 - it was the removal of 'law and order' powers - which they had abused for so long - from the Unionist government that led to Unionists walking out of government and collapsing the Unionist government.

"Now that the opportunity exists to take those powers back, it is unionists who are objecting to do this.

"The DUP claim that there is not sufficient public confidence - that the time is not right. I disagree. I believe that the majority of people, nationalist and unionist, want these powers devolved now. They want local accountable politicians dealing with issues as diverse as police call out times for emergencies and the PSNI's response to anti-social behaviour and sex crime.

"The time is now right, the public confidence exists; especially on the back of the agreed Programme for Government, Budget and Investment package, to move ahead with the transfer of powers on policing and justice issues.

"What is needed is political will and political leadership by the DUP." ENDS

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