Another deadline ahead…

According to the Press Association report, a sub-committee of the Programme for Government Committee set up to discuss Policing and Justice has until 3rd January to report back. It’s one of 6 sub-committees discussing various items on the agenda and the nature of the structures would suggest that there’s an allowance for some slippage built in. It does, though, tally with the expressed need for firm positions from the parties by 30 January to replace the current fudge. There are definitely stormy seas ahead.. but whether the parties can resolve their different interpretations of target dates, commitments, deadlines and conditions by January is not at all clear. On previous form, when discussing exactly the same issues this summer, it might appear unlikely.Some comments in the PA report worth noting, from Chief Constable Hugh Orde

After giving evidence to a House of Commons committee in Belfast examining restorative justice, PSNI Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde said he was still of the view that Sinn Fein needed to participate on the Policing Board.

“I have always met with all political parties and have had conversations with them on policing,” he said.

“I have met Sinn Fein recently. They have made that clear and I have made that clear and we are discussing issues around confidence in policing. It does make sense.

“When they join policing is a matter for them. I think they have a right to understand policing and my role is to ensure that they do understand policing and our vision for policing.”

Sir Hugh said the issue of when policing and justice powers were transferred was a matter for Government.

“I have said consistently for four and a half years now Sinn Fein needs to join the Policing Board,” he added.

“I think that is the first stage and we will see where it goes from there.”

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  • Cato

    I think that Maurice Morrow was quoted in the Irish News today saying that Sinn Fein would only get a date for the devolution of policing and justice when it had called its Ard Fheis and signed up to policing.
    However I do know that many DUP supporters believe that Sinn Fein need to be on board with policing for several years and THEN given a date, all of which adds up to a political lifetime and not what Lord Morrow seems to mean at all.

  • Ian

    I’m surprised there isn’t a Slugger thread on yesterday’s announcement on the proposed scrapping of 50% remission policy for dangerous prisoners. I was going to make a point on that, so I’ll make it here as it’s sort of related:

    Is anyone else surprised that the Government haved moved now on this issue? It would have been more consistent with recent wider government policy, to do nothing about it, despite the public outcry over the Attracta Harron case, etc. The argument would run along the lines of:

    “The sooner the parties agree a date for the devolution of poilicing and justice powers, the sooner the Assembly can be in a position to pass legislation scrapping of automatic 50% remision for dangerous prisoners.”

    Ruthlessly cynical, of course, but nothing new there. Might’ve nudged the DUP a bit closer to agreement as well.