[Sinn Fein]

16 August 2001

Implementation Plan fails to meet Nationalist Demands

Sinn Fein Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin MLA commenting on the British government's proposed new Implementation Plan for Policing said:

``Sinn Fein has carried out an exhaustive assessment of the British government's Implementation Plan for Policing. We will deal with this in detail following publication of the Plan.

``However, it is clear from our examination of the plan that there are no substantive changes between this document and the existing legislation and implementation plan. The British government has failed to resolve many of those crucial issues that are vitally important to nationalists and republicans.''

Mr. McLaughlin said:

``Sinn Fein has been consistent in our criticism of the Mandelson legislation and implementation plan. We have argued that it does not form the basis for the new beginning to policing as promised in the Good Friday Agreement. Without a return to the Patten report as a starting position for change, any new proposals will remain unacceptable.

``The Implementation Plan currently being offered by the British government does not go far enough. It does not constitute a genuine attempt to bridge the gap between republican and nationalist aspirations for a proper and consensual approach to policing.

``Key issues which need to be resolved have not been resolved. These include the limitations on the initiation of inquiries; powers of and appointments to the policing boards; powers of the Ombudsman; protection being offered to human rights offenders and informers; and changes to the Special Branch.

``With respect to all of these issues there are no substantive changes to what was already on the table. The Implementation Plan does not constitute a decisive effort to win nationalist and republican support for the new police service.

``More importantly it does not deliver on the new beginning promised in the Good Friday Agreement.''

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