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SDLP position exposed after Full Time Reserve decision

10 September, 2004

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin has said yesterday's decision to retain the Full Time Reserve in direct breach of Patten had left the SDLP and others on the Policing Board who claim to be delivering Patten seriously exposed.

Mr McLaughlin said:

" Patten was clear and unambiguous. The Full Time Reserve had to go. The SDLP claim to be delivering Patten through their membership of the Policing Board, yet yesterday openly supported the PSNI Chief Constable breaching a key Patten requirement. This position hardly matches up to their often quoted public position of delivering on Patten through membership of the Policing Board.

" Yesterday was not a good day for policing as we were told by Alex Attwood. Yesterday was a bad day for policing and a bad day for those of us who wish to see the promise of Patten delivered and a new and acceptable policing service created.

" How can retaining a unionist militia within the ranks of the PSNI be considered as a good day for policing? How can maintaining the previously high levels of Full Time Reserve in the Tactical Support Group be a good day for policing? How can blatant breaches of Patten by the Chief Constable with the support of the Policing Board be a good day for policing?

" These are the questions which nationalists and republicans are justifiably asking in the wake of yesterdays events and the SDLP response to them." ENDS

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