Baggott rejects PSNI 'dark side' claims

Published Tuesday, 06 May 2014
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Chief Constable Matt Baggott has rejected claims of a "dark side" of policing within the PSNI as "unfair" and "inappropriate".

It comes after Sinn Féin deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said he feels his party president's arrest was a "political" move by an "embittered rump of the old RUC".

Gerry Adams was questioned for four days in relation to the 1972 abduction and murder of Jean McConville before being released pending report to the PPS. He denies any involvement.

Matt Baggott on Tuesday said: "Under the Patten architecture, to which all political parties have signed up, there are numerous ways in which policing concerns can be addressed, notably through the independent Police Ombudsman, Policing Board or Human Rights Commissioner.

"As such, questioning the motivation or impartiality of police officers tasked with investigating serious crime in this very public, generalised and vague manner, is both unfair and inappropriate.

It would have been wrong to treat Mr Adams any differently to other citizens.

Matt Baggott

"The arrest and questioning of Mr Adams was legitimate and lawful and an independent judge subsequently decided that there were grounds for further detention.

"Prosecutorial decisions will also be made independently by the PPS."

Earlier, First Minister Peter Robinson said that the DUP would have tried to exclude Sinn Féin from the Stormont Executive if they had not "corrected their position" on support for policing.

"That is requiring full support for the Police Service of Northern Ireland; requiring them to encourage everybody to cooperate with the police," he told UTV.

"Those are the terms and the pledge of office.

"I don't think Sinn Féin lived up to that over the last week. Martin McGuinness didn't live up to that over the last week. They're starting to haul themselves back."

Responding to the claims, Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy has said any DUP "attempts to exclude Sinn Féin from the political process" will fail.

He continued: "There was absolutely no basis for these comments from Peter Robinson. For decades unionists excluded nationalists and republicans from the political process in the North.

"It is clear that there are those within the leadership of the DUP who would love a return to the days of one-party unionist rule. That is simply not going to happen. There is no going back."

Mr Adams has voiced concerns over the timing of his arrest and the fact he was detained under the Terrorism Act, but stated following his release that he supported the police.

"I want to make it clear that I support the PSNI," he said. "I will continue to work with others to build a genuinely civic policing service."

© UTV News
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15 Comments
John in Co.Antrim wrote (86 days ago):
Sinn Fein must reckon they come under the category namely the untouchables, they have no problem supporting the PSNI when loyalists are arrested for historical crimes, you can't have it both ways, either you support the forces of law and order or you don't, you can not be selective on who is questioned for historical crimes.
disgusted in Lurgan in Lurgan wrote (86 days ago):
Ha the only reason the SF didnt like the RUC was they actualty stood up to Terrorists unlike a weak British Governemtn who sat in LONDON miles away .When RUC personell daily and their families were under and still are daily threatened,AND being put out of houses .SHAME SHAME SHAME BLACK MAIL INTIMIDATION and THREATS AS GA said THEY HAVE'NT GONE AWAY YOU KNOW,it all works .It got GA of the hook. Sad sad CRIME PAYS clearly /You have TERRORISTS out of Prison Some in Government etc need I go on.Decisions made by those who dont live here. Copy RTE BBC NOLAN CNN SKY FOX NEWS BT SUN OBSERVER DAILY TELEGRAPH various other news outlets UTV too scared to print this I am sure
Michael in Templepatrick wrote (86 days ago):
How else would you describe the RUC leftovers that still hold sway within the PSNI, the "bright side"..? I think not, the RUC were widely known to be one of the most corrupt, bigotted and sectarian police forces in history. The past few days have shown 'they haven't gone away'.
cc in antrim wrote (86 days ago):
Good politics from the dup..keep in in the public eye going into elections.it doesn't matter if you talk utter rubbish,stay in the public eye...well done
Caolan in Belfast wrote (86 days ago):
Can Peter look anymore like a clown. He should threaten to resign again and have nodding dodds in the background.
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BRIAN ROWAN
The pictures from Stormont this week showed us how politics here still walks in and out of step.
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