Somewhat of a convergence of criticism, ostensibly of policing here, from separate sources. First up out-going Assistant Chief Constable Peter Sheridan, previously interviewed in AgendaNI, talking to Suzanne Breen in the Sunday Tribune.
While the IRA Army Council may continue to meet, Sheridan predicts it will “fade into the pages of history” as there are no longer military matters for its members to discuss. However, he expresses concern that the threat posed by Republican dissidents is politically ignored.
“Last Saturday night, there was a rocket attack in the middle of Lisnaskea [Co Fermanagh] in which several police officers were nearly murdered. There was no coordinated political response… An emergency Executive meeting was convened to address floods, while the attempted murder of police went unmentioned. If there was a rocket attack on gardaí in Dublin city centre on Saturday night, Brian Cowen would call an emergency meeting of political and security figures to agree a strategy to deal with the threat. While I don’t want to over-emphasise the dissident threat, they are intent on killing police and there could be civilian deaths too.”
We have no idea what MLAs believe are acceptable levels of crime or crime detection. Perhaps they should tell us. The PSNI have no strategic targets, which leaves it not so much a police force, more a uniformed advertising agency for the assembly. Their defence is that they need help from the public. What they fail to realise is that the public needs help from the police. In any other society government would be under pressure to act. But policing here has been so closely woven into the new political fabric that it is guaranteed political immunity whatever its performance.