Sinn Féin: Sinn Féin sets out Policing Agenda

Sinn Fein sets out Policing Agenda


Published: 19 November, 2003

Speaking at a press conference in Belfast this morning Sinn Fein Policing spokesperson Gerry Kelly was joined by party colleagues John O'Dowd, Michelle Gildernew and Alex Maskey as he set out the party's policing agenda.

" Sinn Fein wants to see effective, civic policing. We want to get policing right. Sinn Fein has been central to discussions relating to the future of policing in Ireland.

Sinn Fein put Policing on the agenda of the negotiations in 1997 and we insisted that this issue be directly addressed in the Good Friday Agreement.

Sinn Fein continues to pursue the agenda of radical change. We have made it a central plank of successive negotiations. The approach of our negotiating team has delivered substantial improvements on policing.

Sinn Fein continued to engage with the British Government to get policing right and to ensure that policing is democratically accountable and representative.

We want to see plastic bullets banned with immediate effect and we intend to hold the British government to their commitment to remove these lethal weapons from service by the end of 2003. This is an advance on the position of the SDLP and the Policing Board, who accepted that plastic bullets would remain in use until at least the end of 2005.


We secure a commitment from the British Government to an accelerated process to achieve a demilitarised policing service and we intend to hold them to it.

Special Branch

The corrosive position of the Special Branch at the core of the current policing arrangements has to end. There can be no part in a new beginning to policing for the 'force within a force' which has, as a matter of policy, been involved in the targeting and murder of citizens. Sinn Fein secured commitments from the British Government regarding the roles and powers of thinucane, Rosemary Nelson, the Brian Nelson affair, and multiple allegations of collusion between British forces and unionist paramilitary gangs;

Root-and-branch reform of the justice system;
Transfer of powers on policing and justice to the Assembly;
A policing service with human rights and equality at its core;
The removal from the PSNI of human rights abusers and those involved in collusion with loyalist death squads.
"We have delivered real progress. We now want to finish the job of creating the new beginning to policing promised in the Good Friday Agreement. Sinn Fein is the best guarantee of that."

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