“I will speak to them to try and get an end to this.”

I mentioned previously the question of whether the latest arrangements could avoid being infected by the poisonous foundations of the Process™.. it might already be too late.. According to an Irish News report [subs required] the extortion helpline, set up a year ago, has received just 4 calls and in the same time just 15 people were arrested in connection with extortion investigations. But the key point to note is that the head of the organised crime unit doesn’t seem to understand why public confidence in investigations of those crimes is low..

Our last two investigations have been focussed on the south Antrim area. However, if you ask me do I believe the mainstream UDA are still involved in extortion, well yes I do.”

That would be this mainstream UDA.. From the Irish News report[subs req]

[Detective Superintendent Essie] Adair said that although witnesses were reluctant to come forward, putting pressure on those with influence in loyalism might [be] the most effective method of dealing with extortion.

He said he was prepared to have face-to-face meetings with those suspected of involvement in organised crime.

“We work through the local district command unit to talk to those who have influence,” Mr Adair said.

“We have always worked like that.

“We have done that since I took this job on and we will continue to do it because at the end of the day police cannot deal with this problem alone.

“I will speak to them to try and get an end to this. It is no longer an acceptable part of Northern Ireland society. People should not have to pay for the privilege of working.

“I truly accept the public’s concern but if it stops it then it has to be worth it.”

Except he’s admitting that it’s a continuation of an existing policy not a new policy.. and that that policy has failed to deliver.

Not that he should take all the blame. It is, after all, an ongoing policy way of Processing™ that’s been handed down from above.

There is an alternative to the police negotiating with for-profit terrorists approach – “You need to treat them like criminals”

Otherwise it’s not the basis of a civilised society.