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Orde Accused Over Partisan Political Policing

3 March, 2004

Sinn Féin Assembly Group Leader Conor Murphy has accused the PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde of 'engaging in an ever increasing number of unwanted and unwarranted political interventions'. His remarks come after comments by Hugh Orde today once again accusing the IRA of unproven allegations.

Mr Murphy said:

"One of the principal concerns which Sinn Fein have raised about the current policing arrangements is the failure to move away from the sort of partisan political policing which was policy for the RUC in the past.

"When Hugh Orde took over from Ronnie Flanagan and the SDLP jumped onto the Policing Board we were assured that these days had passed. However in recent times it has become very clear that Hugh Orde and elements within the PSNI have increasingly engaged in a series of unwanted and unwarranted political interventions.

"Be it the staged raids on Sinn Féin Offices in Stomont designed to collapse the political institutions, or the PSNI charging four men with IRA membership two weeks ago with the aim of writing newspaper headlines, only for the charges to fall at the first hurdle, or Hugh Orde's political interventions, all point to a force with a political agenda which is anti-peace and anti-republican.

" At the Assembly elections in November the vast majority of nationalists and republicans endorsed the Sinn Féin position on policing. The PSNI does not enjoy the support of the wider nationalist community. Maybe this is what Hugh Orde should be reflecting upon rather than continuing to court the media with political interventions." ENDS

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