Federation tells Government to scrap one-sided legacy push

The Police Federation for Northern Ireland is urging the Government to scrap plans to legislate on legacy issues.

Federation tells Government to scrap one-sided legacy push

18 days ago Terrorism

The Police Federation for Northern Ireland is urging the Government to scrap plans to legislate on legacy issues.

The Police Federation for Northern Ireland is urging the Government to scrap plans to legislate on legacy issues.

The Federation rejects the proposal of a ‘parallel Police Service’ in the shape of a new Historical Investigations Unit (HIU) and describes a suggested new offence of ‘non-criminal police misconduct’ as the new ‘collusion’.

In a detailed Submission on ‘Addressing the Legacy of Northern Ireland’s Past’, the Federation reiterates its opposition to attempts to equate terrorists with Police Officers.

It also sets out its opposition to an Oral History Archive which it says risks being a propaganda tool and platform for people who refuse to assist in criminal investigations.

It says the current legacy set-up is heavily biased and ‘a travesty for the rule of law’.

The Chair of the PFNI, Mark Lindsay, said: “The draft Bill is flawed. Assessed through tried and trusted justice principles, the PFNI rejects it in its entirety.

“This is lop-sided, one-sided and massively unfair on the wider Police family. The words ‘terrorist’ and ‘murder’ do not appear in the Government Consultation, and that speaks to a lack of objectivity and imbalance.

“During the Troubles, Police Officers were responsible for 51 deaths, almost all of them lawful killings, and terrorists 3,251 deaths. Officers accounted for 1% but that hasn’t prevented opponents orchestrating a vicious campaign against the reputations of the men and women who thwarted the terrorist and prevented anarchy.

“This draft Bill is rejected in its entirety. Far from finding a way of dealing with the issue, it delivers false hope to victims, runs the risk of retraumatising many people and serves to ‘weaponise’ the past.

 “The government has an opportunity to stop this ludicrous process in its tracks before it escalates into an ugly political arm-wrestle. We offer our opinion and advice to Ministers and urge them most sincerely to recognise the damage they would be inflicting on victims if they don’t close this exercise down immediately.

“We have said it before, and say it again, that we do not, and never will, condone law-breaking. There can be no exceptions. If the evidence is there, then the wrong-doers should be brought to justice. We are against amnesties for any group and that includes Police and military personnel.”

Click here to view the PFNI's Response to Legacy Consultation

 

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