[Sinn Fein]

23 September 1998

New Police Service essential

Statement from Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP launching Sinn Fein's submission to the Independent Commission on Policing at Parliament Buildings today. Mr. Adams said:

``Last week Sinn Fein submitted to the Independent Commission on Policing our views on future policing arrangements for this part of the island and the relationship any new police service would have with the Garda Siochana. We proposed the disbandment of the RUC and the creation of a new, unarmed and accounable police service.

``Our presentation was essentially in two parts, the history of the RUC, with particular emphasis on its primary role in the conflict in the last thirty years and the obvious need for a new police service, which would replace the RUC.

``Policing is an issue which lies at the heart of resolving the conflict. This reality was recognised in the Good Friday Agreement which states that a ``new beginning to policing'' is required. The agreement sets out clearly that a police service should be ``representative in terms of the make up of the community as a whole'' ....... and is ``capable of attracting and sustaining'', support from all sections of society. Clearly the RUC does not fulfil any of these criteria.

``The RUC is not a normal police sercie. It is a paramilitary force. Throughout its violent history it has been seen and sees itself as the armed guardians of the Union and for most of that time the paramilitary wing of the Unionist government and party.''

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