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Political policing continues — Adams


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has said that "political policing continues unchecked" and must be challenged.

The West Belfast MP was speaking after a series of high-profile arrests in connection with last year's Northern Bank robbery and the arrest and release of Sinn Féin MLA Francie Brolly. Many republicans in Belfast have also been warned recently about their safety by the PSNI in the aftermath of files being stolen from British army offices at Castlereagh last year. Local people have been warned that their personal details are in loyalist hands.

Mr Adams said that there was widespread anger after the arrests. Mr Adams that many members of the local community had been notified of a threat to their safety.

"My own family home was one of those visited," said Mr Adams.

"In recent days there have been other members of the West Belfast community visited by the PSNI. The Castlereagh collusion case is but the latest example of the policy of collusion and a reminder that it is not a thing of the past. There have also been political raids and arrests with the same old pattern of media leaks and misinformation from the PSNI," he added.

The Sinn Féin President said he believes that there are those who want the Agreement, power sharing and negotiations for a new beginning to policing to fail.

"The evidence of the last three years shows that many of them are still in the PSNI," said Mr Adams.

"Those in the SDLP who accepted too little, jumped too soon and endorsed the existing policing arrangements which are not yet compliant with Patten or the Good Friday Agreement must carry some of the blame.

"They portray the SDLP as getting it right, when nationalists and republicans are still victims of political policing and collusion, which is wrong.

"In four years on the Policing Board they have failed to hold the political detectives to account and they have failed to end collusion and political policing. In Westminster two weeks ago their MPs voted for the reintroduction of 28-day detention orders taking us back to the days of the old Special Powers Act opposed by the Civil Rights Movement," he added.

Mr Adams said that there would be no safe haven for politically motivated policing in the new beginning to policing that Sinn Féin is determined to achieve.

"In negotiations on policing and justice since the Agreement, we have made huge progress.

"The core outstanding issue now is the transfer of power on policing and justice away from London and out of the hands of British securocrats.

"Only in that way can policing be made democratically accountable and a new beginning to policing on this island be attainable," he added.

December 6, 2005

This article appeared first on the Irelandclick.com web site on December 5, 2005.