Is the PSNI up to the job? Is Collins’ analysis correct?

Colonel Tim, with his usual Napoleonic self-confidence, puts the question in the Daily Mail.“ So why has Britain’s political establishment so shamefully weakened our defences against terrorism to the extent that this murderous minority seems to think it can strike with impunity?”

Adds. Another Ed Moloney piece, “This attack will be a recruiting call in the Bogside”, following up on his “Four Courts moment” for SF, discusses what he believes is the fertile recruiting ground for resurgent violent republicanism. Plausible, but over the top I suspect, more a case of SF facing up to the rigours of responsibility in government rather than revolution against it.

Collins’ case is weakened by his irrelevant attack on 50:50 recruitment and his failure to come up with an alternative which is at least generally tolerated if not enthusiastically embraced . But on the central issue, has he got a point? It would be great if the debate was held on the basis of knowledge and objectivity rather than polemic and prejudice.

COLLINS QUOTES
During the Troubles, for example, it is estimated that one in three IRA men were informants for Special Branch. Today’s Special Branch no longer exists in its old form. Instead, the bulk of intelligence work has been taken over by MI5 – a superb organisation in many ways, but one that lacks the intimate local knowledge that the RUC once had.

So how to defeat them, if the law is ineffective? In the end, the answer may prove truly bizarre.
Every shooting, every bombing is a greater embarrassment to these old Provos. I believe there are already some ex Provisionals who are pressing for the IRA Council to deal with the upstarts of the Real IRA and other dissidents.Wouldn’t it be bitterly ironic if the failings of the police and the courts led to vigilante ‘justice’?

MOLONEY QUOTES
“On the ground, the power sharing deal has done little to improve the lives of people in places like West Belfast, which for years had loyally voted for Sinn Fein and its leader, Gerry Adams…If anything conditions have worsened. With the IRA no longer able to police the area, and the PSNI reluctant to do so, crime is rampant. Unemployment is as high as ever and the economic boom that came in the wake of the peace settlement has passed the area by. A British government report last November showed that a boy born in West Belfast can expect to live six years less than one from the more affluent south of the city.”

  • not impressed

    The inference with regards to 50:50, which is fair, is that you don’t get the best peelers but rather the ones who fit into nice tick boxes the best to meet quotas. This in turn leads to police officers who aren’t of the absolute highest calibre. Hardly surprising that crime solving rates are lower

  • Paul

    Yeah military solutions to political questions has always proven highly effective in nIreland

    Last time it only cost 3,000 people their lives

  • Dec

    Brian

    Has case is further weakened in that the article is full of non-truths and illogical conclusions. A few samples:

    During the Troubles, for example, it is estimated that one in three IRA men were informants for Special Branch.

    If that was the case why did the Troubles last 30 years? Especially since the RUC and the wonderful Special Branch were so brilliant at everything.

    In one recent case, for example, suspects were caught in possession of a Russian-made grenade launcher. The defendants claimed they had found it on their way to commit a burglary. A bizarre claim, indeed – but the judge accepted it.

    Simply incorrect. The case was thrown out as the only fingerprints found on the rocket were those of a police informer who had arranged for the accused to be at that location. I believe the legal term is entrapment.

    The emasculation of the old Royal Ulster Constabulary, once the world’s most effective anti-terrorist force, is largely to blame for this shambles. Today – after the ‘reforms’ recommended by former Tory chairman Lord (Chris) Patten – it has become a shadow of its former self.

    Nothing to do with the huge payoff on offer and the fact that every copper who could, grabbed their fat slice, then?

    Still it’s illuminating what career paths a carefully rehearsed speech and a handy camera crew can open up.

  • ArchiePurple

    Brian…You omitted Ruth Dudley Edwards excellent critique of Gerry Adams, entitled ‘Northern Ireland shootings: Gerry Adams is older but still ruthless’

    Read it at:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/northernireland/4963706/Northern-Ireland-shootings-Gerry-Adams-is-older-but-still-ruthless.html

    On a personal note, I agree wholeheartedly with ‘not impressed’….the calibre of the Police ‘students’ today is dictated by their perceived religion rather than their ability to be good police officers. We have police who are taught more about ‘social science’ than solving crime. Many of them wouldn’t see crime if they were tripping over it.

  • confused.ie

    The shinners need the dissidents, they are an important factor to change public perceptions of IRA/Sinn. The longer the dissidents are around the more likely N.Ireland’s citizens will turn a blind eye to Hunger Striker shrines, GAA commemorations of Republican murderers and calls for all-Ireland policing and justice bodies.

  • ArchiePurple

    Dec……Obviously as you wrote the post at #3 you were having a Murray mint…>>>>?? Understand?

  • Dec

    Many of them wouldn’t see crime if they were tripping over it.

    Archie

    Given your recent comments on the spy ring operating out of Wrightbus and PSNI headquarters (summary: nothing wrong with the UVF collecting car registrations and addresses of nationalists), I don’t think you’re in a position to lecture anyone about crime detection.

  • I believe there are already some ex Provisionals who are pressing for the IRA Council to deal with the upstarts of the Real IRA and other dissidents.Wouldn’t it be bitterly ironic if the failings of the police and the courts led to vigilante ‘justice’?

    Not quite as ironic as a former British army officer and supporter of the Ulster Unionist Party hoping that the IRA didn’t really decommission their weapons and are going to reconstitute themselves as a going concern.

  • Dec

    And I’ve no idea what you’re on about with Murray mints.

  • Dec

    Not quite as ironic as a former British army officer and supporter of the Ulster Unionist Party hoping that the IRA didn’t really decommission their weapons and are going to reconstitute themselves as a going concern.

    Sammy

    Try to imagine how comforting and familiar that would be to people like Tim.

  • Driftwood

    Collins is not only one of the best analysts and commentators to come out of Northern Ireland, but his security expertise makes him much better informed than anyone on here to take heed of. A great leader.

  • Scaramoosh

    Brian

    This sort of question, the answer to which is really only known by the dissidents themselves an dthe intelligence services, perhaps best lends itself to the creation of a prediction market

    (see paper below “Prediction Markets: Another Tool in the Intelligence Kitbag”);

    http://stinet.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA469632&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf

    There is a website called HubDub, which allows you to set them up for free, if you wish to give it a trial. There are of course any number of markets that could be set up vis a vis the current situation.

  • skullion

    Driftwood

    I know this is playing the man but its for your own good.Since Saturdays events you really have lost the run of yourself.If this is an example of great analysis then God help us.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    What the boy Tim doesn’t get – and you would think he would have learned the lessons from Iraq – is that it better politics not bigger guns that will defeat the insurgents in either country and he like all sensible people should be calling for the cementing of the peace process by ensuring the speedy transfer of police and justice to Norn Iron that will complete the normalisation of the polices relationship with the Nationalist community – just as everyone voted for in the GFA.

    And talking of better politics.

    SFs response has now been analysed over and over again – but nothing has changed fundamentally since they signed up to police. They were calling dissidents criminals for months. Nothing new there.

    But what is new is the solidarity between SF and the DUP and the attempt by the UU/Tories to outflank the DUP on the right. This worrying development has received no analysis that I can see – and we now have the Tories aligning themselves with the TUV against the implementation of the GFA/STA –and this perhaps represents the dissidents best chance of political traction as was rightly warned about months ago by the SOS.

  • Shaun G

    As an ex-police officer I know a little about policing in NI. I served for some twenty years before I left, and as an aside as it seems to trouble Dec so much I didn’t get a “huge payoff” as I didn’t have the service to qualify. Those who did were given a lump sum representing what they could have earned should they have been able to continue in-post to normal retirement age.

    In my opinion the PSNI did rush the change programme and all types of firearms and tactical training was massively scaled back. This occurred for a number of reasons but primarily to provide more space in the training regime for ‘soft’ skills and in the hope and belief that the operational situation had changed.

    This hope has proved to be unfounded to a degree and no matter what is one’s opinion of the intelligence gathering departments within the police the Patten programme impacted mostly on experienced officers and an intelligence void built up.

    Today the frontline officers of the PSNI lack the experience of dealing with a terrorist campaign and it is these officers who are mainly in the firing line. This, together with the limited counter-terrorist focus of the organisation as a whole, will mean that hard lessons will be learned and casualties may ensue.

  • hedge

    Raivo Pommer
    raimo1@hot.ee

    HEDGE-FOND

    Die Kapitalabflüsse gestalteten sich in der Branche in Europa und den Vereinigten Staaten allerdings sehr unterschiedlich: Während amerikanische Hedge-Fonds in großem Umfang juristische Sperren nutzten, die eine sofortige Rückzahlung von Anlagegeld an die Kunden beschränkten oder hinauszögerten (Gates), ist dies bei europäischen Hedge-Fonds weniger üblich. Auch gibt es in Europa mehr Dachfonds, in die Privatinvestoren investieren. Diese hatten die erste Kündigungswelle bei Hedge-Fonds im Herbst 2008 ausgelöst. Die Kapitalabflüsse aus Hedge-Fonds waren daher in der zweiten Jahreshälfte vor allem in Europa relativ hoch. Die Mittel europäischer Hedge-Fonds schrumpften nach Einschätzung von Morgan Stanley um 25 bis 30 Prozent.

    In den Vereinigten Staaten beliefen sich die Mittelabflüsse zunächst „nur“ auf 15 bis 20 Prozent. Dies erklärt, warum der weltweite Verband der Hedge-Fonds, die Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA), kürzlich bekanntgab, dass das Anlagekapital der 1200 bei der AIMA registrierten Mitglieder jetzt zum Großteil von institutionellen Investoren gehalten werde und nicht mehr von vermögenden Einzelpersonen, wie dies früher der Fall gewesen war.

  • 6 County Prod

    Collins is … A great leader.

    Military leader, yes. Political, don’t think so.

  • “Collins’ case is weakened by his irrelevant attack on 50:50 recruitment”

    That’s odd; I can see no such attack – no mention of 50:50 recruitment.

    Collins appears to be commenting on the depletion of resources that now make it difficult to combat the acts of terrorism that we’ve just witnessed.

    With respect to 50:50 recruitment is it currently the case that this policy is now a barrier to recruiting sufficient new police officers? I’ve looked at the statistics for March 2009 and there are 7,100 full-time officers compared with the Patten recommendation of IIRC 7,500.

  • Rory Carr

    I am surprised that Collins didn’t go the whole hog and call for the disbandment of the PSNI and its replacement by a private mercenary security company such as perhaps New Century Security of which I understand from its website that he is CEO.

  • “Collins’ case is weakened by his irrelevant attack on 50:50 recruitment”

    That’s odd; I can see no such attack – no mention of 50:50 recruitment.

    Collins appears to be commenting on the depletion of resources that now make it difficult to combat the acts of terrorism that we’ve just witnessed.

    With respect to 50:50 recruitment is it currently the case that this policy is now a barrier to recruiting sufficient new police officers? I’ve looked at the statistics for March 2009 and there are 7,100 full-time officers compared with the Patten recommendation of IIRC 7,500.

  • Driftwood

    Tim Collins has produced a sound, reasonable, balanced and perceptive viewpoint. He is the sort of person Northern Ireland needs more of.
    it’s a pity he didn’t move in to politics. He is a class act and role model for every child in this province.

  • [Sorry about the double post; the first didn’t appear to be loading]

  • Paul

    archie purple

    ruth dud edwards analysis falls completely under the no shit Sherlock column

    Did any one really believe that Sinn Fein going into government was anything but a change in tactics? They are still actively hostile to the fake state of nIreland they have just agreed to use the political structures against itself. That is really what the GFA is all about, the republicans won the right to leave the unighted kingdom on political terms. So the republicans are using political means

    I have never seen anywhere the Sinn Fein has agreed to maintain any british institution now or ever. If unionists believed thats what the GFA was about then they are just wrong

  • Dec

    served for some twenty years before I left, and as an aside as it seems to trouble Dec so much I didn’t get a “huge payoff” as I didn’t have the service to qualify.

    Doesn’t trouble me Shaun – I’m just stating the facts. Though you’re clearly touchy about it.

  • ArchiePurple

    Dec….It is bit of an overhype – ‘spy-ring in Wrightbus’……It’s the first ring I have ever heard of with one person in it. I can’t recall ever agreeing with what the guy got up to in unison with a member of the civil service.

    You have more of a spy-ring in the Post Office and civil service on behalf of the Provos Sinn Fein. Who did you think the Provos collueded with to target members of HM Forces, Police and individual Protestants.

  • ArchiePurple

    Nevin….You are quite correct that the 50:50 recruitment of ‘students’ [note: no longer called recruits – obviously not PC to do so !] is losing potential good Officers.

    Recently I was in London, at the time of the visit of the Chinese President. With various streets / roads closed, I asked a young cop directions and was amazed to hear the NI accent [he was from Lisburn]. He told me that his training squad was made up of almost 60% of recruits from NI, young officers who did not wish to take the chance of being rejected by the PSNI merely because they were Protestant. My own son-in-law always had a desire to join the Police, but on passing on the exams / tests / interviews, he didn’t get in because he was a Protestant. He totally lost heart and now works in a factory. Another thing that is often forgotten is the salary. If an applicant at 18 gets in, he/she immediately goes on to the starting salary. If it takes six attempts before one gets accepted, as happened to a friend’s daughter, then the recruit could be 22/23 years old and still starts at the same salary as an 18 year old. It is quite disgraceful that this discriminatory policy still exists.

  • mourneful

    The important part of this story is that the three groups have never been able to patch up their differences since. The INLA appears to have moved into criminality while the Real and Continuity IRAs regard each other as rivals. If they had managed to come together again then the threat would be significantly greater. But divided as they are, the dissidents may therefore be that much easier to defeat. Ed Moloney is author of A Secret History of the IRA. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1161249/ED-MOLONEY-Divided-bitter-internal-rancour-dissidents-CAN-defeated.html

  • Reader

    mourneful: But divided as they are, the dissidents may therefore be that much easier to defeat.
    Or not – thanks to the split, they have an accidental cell structure up to and including Army Council level.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    ArchiePurple

    When you say he didnt get in because he was a Protestant – was he actually told this?

    Can Protestants actually say ‘no religion’ or do they then ask you what religion you were born into?

  • It’s not 50 Catholics to 50 Protestants. It’s 50 Catholics to 50 [i]non-Catholics[/i]. Thus even a non-religious candidate could be discriminated against.

  • Txomin

    get some EU aid into the deprived areas.
    ————————————————————
    More EU money? Northern Ireland has received over 3.5 billion pounds from Europe in the last few years… That´d be enough to make Africa rich!
    But in N.Ireland the money is wasted painting/repainting murals, in inquiries of murders (in which everybody knows what happened), stupid community centers and in a big wheel beside the city hall…

  • You Hard

    Archie – at what stage of the application process was your unfortunate relative rejected?

    You see, PSNI applicants must pass the ‘Police Initial Recruitment Test‘ (PIRT) – written English skills, verbal reasoning, oral skills and mathematical skills.

    Up to 80,000 candidates sit the PIRT each year but only about 8% are successful. Which means that about 73,600 applicants are rejected each year for poor written English skills, verbal reasoning, oral skills or mathematical skills – nothing to do with religion.

  • ArchiePurple

    My relative passed all tests, including medical but didn’t get accepted due to the 50:50 rule. Obviously if you discriminated against a group of people, disgracefully called ‘others’, then you will refuse entry to many who were better qualified than some of those from the Roman Catholic entrants who were accepted.

    Of course from the setting up of the RUC, there was always 30% of the force available to the minority community, but due to Church and political dictates and at times, especially from 1968, the threat of murder, only a small % of RCs joined. However, the RC ratio of ranks above Sergeant to their numbers in the force was high. Whilst only 8% were RC, 14% of ranks above Sgt were of that faith. Positive discrimination was prevelant even then.

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Sammy Morse

    With reference to the following statement that you made:-

    “I believe there are already some ex Provisionals who are pressing for the IRA Council to deal with the upstarts of the Real IRA and other dissidents.Wouldn’t it be bitterly ironic if the failings of the police and the courts led to vigilante ‘justice’”?

    A certain sprinfield road Residents Association member has tonight sent message to 2 men in East Tyrone warning them that he is gonna rip the CIRA and the RIRA to pieces and have them jailed!

    What a fuckin mess this is gonna be if it starts!

  • I believe there are already some ex Provisionals who are pressing for the IRA Council to deal with the upstarts of the Real IRA and other dissidents.Wouldn’t it be bitterly ironic if the failings of the police and the courts led to vigilante ‘justice’”

    I didn’t say that, I was quoting Dim Tim in the Daily Mail to pull apart his argument that it would be good if the Ra reconstituted itself to deal with the dissidents.

    If your mate’s text is true, it’s exactly why this would be a very bad idea indeed and Tim is so dim I’m amazed he ever made Colonel. I’ve met some thick Captains, and even the odd Major who wasn’t the sharpest tool in the box, but by the time they make Colonel, British army officers are usually very, very, smart.

    Maybe Tim isn’t really dim, but has just been away so long that he doesn’t understand how rare the present opportunity to place the ballot box over the bullet in Irish politics is? Either way, he’s incompetent enough that the Ulster Unionists probably will head hunt him as a candidate.

  • ArchiePurple

    Hi Rory from South Londonderry…..re your Springfield Road Residents Association member…..would that be another storey?

    Surely it can’t be true Rory….didn’t Boxer Maskey say on TV the other night that Sinn Fein Provos didn’t know who the Real and Continuity terror gans were????

  • ArchiePurple

    Correction:

    ‘..who the Real and Continuity terror gangs were????’

  • Uriop

    Paul

    Did any one really believe that Sinn Fein going into government was anything but a change in tactics? They are still actively hostile to the fake state of nIreland they have just agreed to use the political structures against itself. That is really what the GFA is all about, the republicans won the right to leave the unighted kingdom on political terms. So the republicans are using political means

    No they didn’t. The Government of Ireland Act 1920 stated that NI could unite with the Republic if the Stormont government and southern government agreed. This was only repealed by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 as far as I am aware.

    So they exhanged “nationalist government in Stormont” for “win a referendum in Northern Ireland”.

  • ed

    so they win then