[Sinn Fein]

28th April 2000

Fears over Patten being diluted

Responding to leaks from the proposed Patten legislation on BBC this evening, Sinn Fein spokesperson on Policing, Bairbre de Brun said she was ``deeply concerned that it appeared Peter Mandelson was engaged in diluting the original Patten proposals.''

Ms de Brun said:

``At the time of the publication of the Patten proposals Sinn Fein made it clear that there were many areas which it did not address. Issues such as the use of plastic bullets, timescale for change and the role of Human Rights abusers in any new force were not addressed by Patten. The British government had a chance to move on these outstanding issues. However it appears that Peter Mandelson has chosen to move a different direction.

``Patten was clear that all aspects of his report had to be implemented. Even before the publication of the leaked legislation Peter Mandelson had indicated that he would not implement key areas of the report. This is not acceptable.

``The British government must realise that nationalists and republicans will not accept or support anything less than the new beginning to policing promised in the Good Friday Agreement.''

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