[Sinn Fein]

13 January 2001

Policing Prize can still be achieved

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP responding to the increasing number of pipe bomb attacks on Catholics and Catholic owned property said:

``The campaign of terror against the Catholic Community especially in North and East Antrim is a source of deep concern.  There is an urgent need for civic leaders, church leaders and politicians to take up this issue and to stand with their Catholic neighbours against this orchestrated intimidation.

``The deteriorating situation in Larne and elsewhere also highlights the need for a policing service which is accountable and prepared to work for every citizen.  The RUC is clearly not that service and the British government handling of this issue has set back the objectives set for policing by the Good Friday Agreement.

``The focus of the British government on policing appears to be a desire to fracture the broad popular consensus within nationalism.

``It is still not too late to achieve the policing service envisaged by the Good Friday Agreement.  But that means the British government introducing amending legislation which bridges the gap between the current Policing Act and the minimum threshold set by Patten.  Tinkering with the Implementation Plan is not enough.

``The British government has to understand that no amount of bluster can get away from the fact that the nationalist and republican community understands precisely where the policing issue is at.  We have waited 80 years for a proper policing service.  That is the prize we must win.''ENDS

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