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British Government Need To Take Heed Of Ombudsman Criticisms

19 July, 2006

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Policing and Justice issues Gerry Kelly today said that the British government needed to take notice of the fears being expressed by the Police Ombudsman, Nuala O'Loan, about the plans to increase the role of MI5 in intelligence gathering in the six counties.

Mr Kelly said:

"Since the announcement was made indicating that primacy in intelligence gathering in the six counties was to pass to MI5 we have consistently raised our opposition to this plan with the British government.

"It is unacceptable that an organisation which has set itself against policing and political change throughout the course of this process should be given an expanded role.

"The role of the securocrats within both the Special Branch and MI5 needs to be reduced and ended, not supported and expanded. The events of recent months including the revelations about Mark Haddock and others within the UVF underline that fact.

"The British government now need to take notice of the criticisms delivered by the Police Ombudsman Nuala O‚Loan in her annual report delivered today and act upon them. They of course follow on from similar criticisms made last month by Oversight Commissioner Al Hutchinson." ENDS

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