Policing Board Entering Defining Term
Sinn Féin has said that this term of the new Policing Board will be a defining period for the organisational transformation of the PSNI into a civic policing service.
Sinn Féin MLA Caitriona Ruane said:
“Relatives of the McGurks bar bombing attended the first public meeting of the Policing Board today. Legal representatives for the Loughinisland families were there also. What the PSNI must recognise, and Sinn Féin articulated at today’s meeting, is that this is not about policing the past. This is about policing in the present. The questions which have arisen about the PSNI handling of the Police Ombudsman reports into McGurks bar bombing and the Loughinisland massacre are current.
As a result of flawed Ombudsman Reports and the PSNI role in them, public confidence in the decision-making and policy-making of those at the top of the PSNI is being impacted adversely. The PSNI chief constable must recognise that, and co-operate with the Policing Board to rejuvenate public confidence in present policing structures.
Pat Sheehan said:
“This summer has seen a number of bad policing operations. The Policing Board established today that the PSNI fired 338 plastic bullets over the summer months. In addition there were a series of raids and arrests in nationalist areas carried out as part of intelligence-led operations. All of these were carried out in the full glare of publicity.
There was nothing intelligent about the way certain sections of the PSNI conducted themselves during the summer. There was nothing proportionate about the culture of policing which sees 338 plastic bullets fired in a society where there have been so many fatalities in the past, as a result of the use of such weapons by police officers. This contrasted sharply with the approach of the police in England to far more violent and sustained street disorder there.
Sinn Féin seeks to represent the rights and entitlements of all citizens. The vast majority want partnership with an effective community policing service. The PSNI cannot afford to alienate those who want to work with them. That was the message we gave to the PSNI Chief Constable at today’s meeting of the Policing Board.”