A senior police officer in Northern Ireland has rejected suggestions that the recent arrest of Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams reflected a 'dark side' to policing in the north.
A senior police officer in Northern Ireland has rejected suggestions that the recent arrest of Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams reflected a ‘dark side’ to policing in the north.
Adams was arrested at the start of the month and questioned for several days over the murder in 1972 of Jean McConville.
At the time of the arrest, Sinn Fein’s deputy leader and Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister Martin McGuinness spoke of a “cabal” existing within the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) that was opposed to Sinn Fein.
MsGuniess concluded also that the arrest showed “there was still a dark side within policing here in the north of Ireland”.
But his allegations were rebuffed by the PSNI.
Speaking at the Police Superintendents’ Association annual conference last night, chief superintendent Nigel Grimshaw, the PSNI’s district commander for north and west Belfast, made clear that the police had a responsibility to investigate crimes “without fear or favour” and raised fears that support for the PSNI seemed too dependent on who was being investigated at any one point in time.
Grimshaw told the conference:
“Only last week, we heard strong and, what many see, as sinister words suggesting that there was an old guard operating within the PSNI leadership, and that there had been a manifestation of a ‘dark side’.
“The law is very clear. The Police Act of 2000 charges the police service with a responsibility to investigate crime.
“All of our officers must follow this duty, in the words of Sir Robert Peel, ‘without fear or favour’.
“As an association, we reject all attempts to differentiate between our members and to single out as being different those who lead on serious and terrorist crime.”
Grimshaw went to express concern that “support for policing seems to depend on their investigative strategies or the perspectives of the adversarial political arena”.
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“Worryingly, there remains a mindset on the part of some that seems to regard good policing as only that which tackles the other side, and bad policing as that which seeks to deal with ‘our side’.”