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Retention of reserve a clear breach of Patten

9 September, 2004

Responding to the news that Hugh Orde and the Policing Board have decided to ignore the Patten recommendation on the removal of the Full Time Reserve and instead maintain the force at a substantial level for at least another three years, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Policing Gerry Kelly said:

" The Full Time Reserve was established in 1970 as a unionist militia within the old RUC. It is unrepresentative and is associated with some of the worst excesses of a failed policing agenda. Therefore for progress to be made towards a new beginning it has to be removed from the policing equation.

" It is five years to the day since the Patten Report was launched. Patten was very clear that the Full Time Reserve should be quickly phased out. This has not happened. The Policing Board with the support of the SDLP have allowed this force to remain within the current policing structures. This is unacceptable. Sinn Féin have consistently raised this issue with the British government and will continue to do so.

" Many people within the nationalist community will be angered at the massive severance package agreed between the NIO and the Police Federation for those members of the Full Time Reserve who wish to leave. It seems as if failed and unrepresentative policing is being rewarded with massive amounts of public money." ENDS

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