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Sinn Féin remain commited to new begining to policing

21 September, 2004

In the wake of the two reports released today by the policing board and the police oversight commissioner, Sinn Féin Policing Spokesperson, North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly has said that Sinn Féin remain committed to achieving a new beginning to policing that is accountable, representative and free from partisan political control.

Mr Kelly said:

"Sinn Féin continues to be at the forefront of working to achieve an new beginning to an acceptable policing. It is our intention to complete this task

"The transfer of policing and justice powers is crucial to this.

"To have the new beginning to policing promised by the Patten report there must be maximum transfer of powers. To achieve that, the political institutions need to up and running. The main obstacle to that remains the DUP's unwillingness to accept change.

"Sinn Fein again put the vital issue of the transfer of powers on policing and justice at the centre of the Leeds Castle negotiations.

"It is our view that we will achieve our goals on policing and justice and that the tenure of both the oversight commissioner on policing and the oversight commissioner of criminal justice should be extended to complete the job.

"We don't have accountable policing. We don't have representative policing. As events this summer in Ardoyne and Lurgan proved the problem of political policing remains.

"The removal of plastic bullets and the Full Time Reserve have also not yet been satisfactorily dealt with. In fact the policing board has ordered some 120,000 plastic bullets over the past two years." ENDS

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