PFNI says Executive must bear responsibility for confusing health Regulations
The Police Federation for Northern Ireland (PFNI) says that whilst there is learning for the PSNI, the Stormont Executive must bear some of the responsibility for events that unfolded around the Bobby Storey funeral.
The Federation was reacting to the HMIC Report into the PSNI’s handling of the funeral and the refusal by the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) to prosecute 24 Sinn Fein politicians.
PFNI Chair, Mark Lindsay, said: “As well as supporting the actions taken by the PSNI, this HMIC Report is at pains to point out the ‘confusing’ Health Regulations which officers were expected to enforce.
“It is acknowledged that these Health Regulations were difficult to interpret. In a situation where there was a glaring lack of clarity, there was an inevitability that it would cause difficulty.
“The Executive must bear some of the responsibility for what happened. The framing of the Health Regulations was poor. All of which means that Ministers cannot absolve themselves or hold a position that they did all they could to give direction and certainty.
“As police officers, we are charged with policing in a very difficult environment and there are recommendations in this report with regard to how PSNI can improve their processes.
“What happened at the funeral contrasted sharply with how other funerals were handled and how mourners should behave. The fall-out has been damaging and the task now is to rebuild trust and relationships.”