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Kelly - Oversight Report proves Patten has not been implemented

27 April, 2004

Commenting on the publication today of the latest report by the Policing Oversight Commissioner, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Policing Gerry Kelly said that it was 'significant that the report still indicated that Patten had not been implemented five years on and showed the level of resistance to change which still exists'.

Mr Kelly said:

"The Oversight Commissioner is correct to state that the current policing arrangements do not enjoy the support of the nationalist community. The onus is on those who have delayed the new beginning to policing, especially the British government, to fulfil their responsibilities and deliver the acceptable policing service demanded by the Good Friday Agreement.

"We are now entering the fifth and final year of the Oversight Commissioners tenure and it is a measure of the resistance to policing change that he is still unable to report that the Patten recommendations have been fully implemented. The Oversight Commissioner again in this report highlights the outstanding issues. These include:

  • Special Branch
  • Demilitarisation of policing
  • Disbandment of the Full Time Reserve
  • Human Rights training and culture
  • Plastic Bullets

"Progress has been made in recent years on this issue in our discussions with the British government. Since the Oversight Commissioner's first report Sinn Féin has secured amending legislation on policing and amending legislation on justice issues. We now need to see legislation brought forward to transfer powers on policing and justice, as Patten recommended and was agreed in principle by the British government. This is a critical issue in terms of achieving democratic accountability and one which continues to be frustrated by the British government's suspension of the political institutions." ENDS

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