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Gerry Kelly respond to Alex Atwoods comments on policing

4 October, 2005

Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly, spokesperson on Policing and Justice has described Alex Attwood's insistence that funding for Community Restorative Justice (CRJ) initiatives are made conditional on all parties endorsing existing policing arrangements as absurd and hypocritical:

Mr Kelly said:

"CRJ initiatives are an important and innovative community-based and non-violent response to many local problems. It is absurd and hypocritical of Alex Attwood to acknowledge the value of such initiatives and then to argue that the British Government withhold funding for CRJ projects.

"A new beginning to policing is part of the unfinished business of the Good Friday Agreement. The core outstanding matter of the transfer of powers on policing and justice has yet to be resolved. It is welcome of course that Alex Attwood, albeit belatedly, has come to accept the importance of addressing this issue.

"Transfer of powers on policing and justice has the potential, if properly addressed, for creating the conditions in which we will achieve policing arrangements acceptable to all. We now need to see powers of policing and justice transferred and the institutions restored. The British government and unionists need to engage in dialogue to resolve these matters." ENDS

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