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Progress made in Sinn Féin meeting with Chief Constable

28 April, 2008

Sinn Féin West Belfast MP Gerry Adams today led a delegation of west Belfast representatives to meet the PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde.

Mr. Adams was accompanied by Fra McCann, MLA; Jennifer McCann, MLA;Paul Maskey, MLA; Cllr Sam Baker; and Cllr Marie Cush.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss policing in west Belfast.

Speaking after the meeting Mr. Adams said:

"In recent months three west Belfast residents, Harry Holland, John Mongan and Frank McGreevy have been murdered. There have also been other serious criminal and anti-community offences, including the rape of a young woman in the Colin Glen Forest Park.

"The local community has responded very positively to calls from Sinn Fein for witnesses to come forward.

"We had a thorough discussion and raised with Mr. Orde a number of issues of concern around policing in west Belfast.

"Specifically, these include important issues like PSNI response times to emergency calls; bail conditions for repeat offenders; the need to target prolific offenders, and on-street underage drinking.

"Today's meeting is part of the ongoing process of critical engagement which Sinn Féin embarked on just over a year ago.

"It was a detailed and constructive meeting, which looked at specific proposals.

"For example, the PSNI is already very much involved in the Upper Springfield Safer Neighbourhood Forum and Sinn Féin is currently in discussions with the British Direct Rule Minister Paul Goggins about extending this approach across all of west Belfast.

"In our discussions today Hugh Orde indicated the PSNI s willingness to play a positive role in any west Belfast Safer Neighbourhood structure that might be created in the weeks ahead.

"We also raised with Mr. Orde and his colleagues the need for;

  • The provision of police resources in the Falls area to ensure that those out on bail stick to their bail conditions;
  • A specific project to deal with prolific offenders, which involves the local community as well as the relevant statutory agencies;
  • Co-operation and information sharing between local communities and the PSNI in respect of the worst offenders
  • Further engagements between Sinn Fein, local community activists and the PSNI at grassroots level.

"Sinn Fein also raised the issue of inquests and in particular the need for the PSNI to provide the necessary information that is required for the inquest into the killing of IRA Volunteer Pearse Jordan who was shot dead by the RUC in November 1992 to proceed." ENDS

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