“We will not respond to calls to get the gloves off.” – The resolute words of Northern Ireland’s Chief Constable Matt Baggott addressing a conference at Parliament Buildings. Listing recent attacks on his service including the car bomb in which leading GAA footballer Peadar Heffron lost a leg. Mr Baggott added:”My job and colleagues’ job is to be impartial, professional and justified. Sometimes when I read the media I hear phrases like ‘get the gloves off chief constable.’ Let me reassure you we will not respond to calls to get the gloves off.
“We will continue to be a human rights centred focussed led service that is prepared to take criticism about the exercise of power.”
Mr Baggott was responding to a human rights report into policing in Northern Ireland. Stop and search cases trebled in the past year reaching ten thousand in numbers.
Matt Baggott argued these numbers will drop as soon as the public start giving his officers more information.