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Rebuilding public confidence must be a priority for new Chief Constable – O’Neill

4 June, 2019 - by Michelle O'Neill

Re-building public confidence must be a priority for the incoming PSNI Chief Constable, Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O'Neill has said.

Former Cheshire Police Chief Simon Byrne will take over from George Hamilton later this month and Michelle O’Neill confirmed that she will be seeking immediate talks with the new PSNI Chief Constable.

She commented: “I am writing to Simon Byrne seeking a meeting as soon as he takes up office because it is vital the new PSNI Chief Constable immediately begins to address the issues of concern in policing here.

“He is taking up office at a time when public confidence in the PSNI’s ability to police with the community in an open, effective and balanced way has been severely damaged by a number of recent cases.

“The failure to disclose all relevant information relating to loyalist atrocities and the arrest of investigative journalists who exposed the state’s role in the Loughinsland massacre are just the most recent examples that have cast serious doubt on the PSNI’s credibility and impartiality.

“It is equally clear that elements within the PSNI continue to acquiesce to a British Government policy of cover-up and collusion. 

“The same policy that has seen the legacy bodies agreed at Stormont House blocked by a government that does not want the truth of its role in the conflict here exposed.

“If public confidence in policing is to be restored then the new PSNI Chief Constable needs to alert the British government to the imperative of removing the PSNI from dealing with legacy issues by giving legislative effect to the draft legacy bill which was finalised two years ago this month.”

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