No such distinction.

At Northern Ireland Questions in the Commons today, in response to a question about Sinn Féin MLAs attempting to make a distinction between ‘civic’ and ‘political’ policing, the government, in the form of David Hanson MP Paul Googins MP, claimed that SF were already moving away from that position and stated – “There is no such distinction in Northern Ireland, nor should there be.” Transcript here.From Hansard

11. Mr. Greg Hands (Hammersmith and Fulham) (Con): Whether it is the policy of the Government to distinguish between civic and political policing in Northern Ireland. [132693]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Paul Goggins): The Government’s policy is to deliver effective, impartial and accountable policing, supported by the entire community in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Hands: Does the Secretary of State agree that it is not right for Sinn Fein Assembly Members to make a distinction between civic and political policing, as they appear to be doing?

Paul Goggins: Time is moving on. People may have made that distinction in the past, but it is not being made now. Sinn Fein has made an historic commitment to support policing and the rule of law, it is actively encouraging people from its communities to report criminality to the police, and in the very recent past it has indicated that its members intend to take up their positions on the Policing Board. There is no such distinction in Northern Ireland, nor should there be.