DCC Judith Gillespie: “Policing remains one of the most visible institutions whose actions are interpreted through opposing narratives and lenses…”

One woman dominated the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly this week in London – not the Secretary of State Theresa Villiers who opened the Assembly on Monday, but Judith Gillespie OBE, Deputy Chief Constable of the PSNI.

She was no uninspiring plod – all proceeding northerly in strangulated
officialise. She brought passion, conviction and incisiveness to the

Her “sterling” speech, as Paul Bew put it, was also described as a
tour de force in outlining the journey from the RUC into what she
called the “delicate flower” of the PSNI.

She explained how the Patten report had been largely implemented and explained that she never would have thought, when she joined the RUC in 1982, that Northern Ireland would host, for example, the G8, the MTV awards and a royal visit – all without incident.

She argued that the PSNI was the most accountable police service in the world and detailed how it was coping with crises concerning “flags, parades, protests and the past.”

Gillespie told the Assembly that hundreds of officers had been injured in protests which also cost £50,000 a day.

LibDem Baroness Angie Harris said that if the equivalent of 700 police in GB had been injured Parliament would sit up all night to find solutions.

The Baroness asked the officer what she thought Northern Ireland politicians should do. This was deftly batted back with a careful answer – you better ask the politicians.

Sinn Fein’s Aengus O Snodaigh congratulated her on the “momentous change” in the PSNI and later told me he had initially been suspicious but his fears had been proven wrong.

Gillespie was the star of the show. Labour’s Alf Dubs said that if there were a vacancy in the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, she would have his vote.

You can read her speech in full here.

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34 thoughts on “DCC Judith Gillespie: “Policing remains one of the most visible institutions whose actions are interpreted through opposing narratives and lenses…””

  1. Judith Gillespie has about as much credibility within the Unionist community as Adams …however despite a “Great speech” to the poundchasers and those totally out of touch Judith Gillespies day is unlikely to come if she ever becomes Chief Constable we will know the inmates have definitely taken over the asylem.

  2. Would either of the two posters above care to explain precisely why Asst Chief Constable Judith Gillespie, as alleged, has little credibility “within the Unionist (sic) community” ?

  3. I see that the post by Blue Hammer which flirted seriously with gross libel has, correctly I believe, been removed.

    So, Willie, it;s all up to you now – do tell us, please.

  4. Rory, Rory you usually know so much however I`l leave it by saying theres no end what people will do to get power. Do what you think the paymasters want you to do. Very conscious of what happened to Blue Hammer greens more the colour these days. Judith might have been better taking the big Patton pay of when she had the chance.

  5. Gillespie is a leading member of a Police Service which is perceived to do nothing when presented with actionable, filmed, offences by republicans, but can’t act quick enough to bring spurious charges against Loyalists.

    Would beg the question, why? I think we all know.

  6. Thank you gentlemen. Now I understand.

    Perhaps if ACC Gillespie ( a Fenian name surely ?) is the author of such widespread mopery among unionist circles she ought to be either pilloried or rewarded. I can’t quite make up my mind as to which.

  7. …… but aren’t you super tempted to push the sensitivity envelope?

    Btw Judith is a Presbyterian. Indeed her father was a minister in the church.

  8. Blue Hammer (profile) 24 October 2013 at 5:13 pm
    Gillespie is a leading member of a Police Service which is perceived to do nothing when presented with actionable, filmed, offences by republicans, but can’t act quick enough to bring spurious charges against Loyalists.

    Would beg the question, why? I think we all know.

    Ah Flegger logic at its finest. Perceived by who exactly? If you are referring to the Kelly incident i believe that he was interviewed by Police and a report sent to PPS.

  9. @ Blues Jazz

    “Puerile careerism.”

    What, pray, is that when it’s at home ? And how does it affect grown women ?

  10. Blue Hammer makes the allegation that under DCC Gillespie’s influence the PSNI have discriminated in prosecuting loyalists for law-breaking while failing to prosecute Republicans doing likewise. He offers no evidence in support of this but says, “I think we all know why.”

    Then he leaves it at that. Well, unless he lets us know why, we must assume that he is making it all up in the tradition of Pissbaby and other loyalist badly contrived black propaganda.

    On the other hand, Blues Jazz why not redeem your integrity all you have to do is elaborate on your certainty of knowledge. Go on…we’re all ears.

  11. Rory, I know nothing about the woman apart from what came up on google.

    I read the speech, which was just the usual guff about how wonderful life is in NI with MTV, the Titanic, G8 etc. It sounded pretty much like the one the wee girl from Methody gave at the Obama Waterfront Hall gig.

    There was nothing of any substance. Just clichéd tick box management waffle that anyone with an eye on promotion utters.


  12. That, Blues Jazz goes no way to refuting my contention that you made the whole bloody thing up, whatever it was supposed to be. But we don’t know, do we ? And that because you will not, probably cannot, say.

    Both you and DC coyly impute some scurrilous relationship between the DCC and Gerry Kelly MLA and then shy off when challenged. That, quite frankly, is contemptible.

  13. Ms Gillespie joined the RUC in 1982. What posessed a young woman to join this reprehensible crew at this time? Bitterness, greed, love of Queen and country, religious conviction, desire to serve society or a Damascus conversion?

  14. I expect we’ll see a couple of puff pieces/guest of honour appearances between now and the end of March. Once out from below the umbrella of the PSNI there’ll be more in depth material.

    The nonsense regarding the DCC and another well known local will not feature.

    2014 will I believe also have interesting moves on the Chief Constable’s position. I don’t see the present incumbent continuing his contract into 2015.

    (here as we approach the turn of the year just a couple of predictions from old strongbow’s almanac)

  15. She might resign and go work in Britain doing police stuff for a year or two and get herself the necessary experience required to head up the PSNI?

  16. DC, would that require her to resign, or just a transfer.
    it all seems a little odd, to turn down a £500.000 (yes count the 0s) and proclaim your reason as your devotion to the job, and then quit.

  17. On the future: you have to be a police officer to qualify as a CC candidate. If an individual resigns they are, obviously, no longer a serving police officer.

    That being said, should the UK government press ahead with its police reforms to open up top police jobs to ‘outsiders’ who knows (of course our own little cabal at Stormont would need to agree to implementing the change locally.)

    On the £500k. A little clarification, the Patten Severance Scheme offered a monetary incentive to retire early (that is earlier than full 30 years police service) in lieu of loss of salary for the years you could have worked up to retirement age; in other words a sweetener to go as no one was being made redundant, officers were simply asked to make way for newbies.

    However, in common with other Patten retirees, the DCC’s payment would have been made up of the ‘Patten payment’ and a lump sum drawn from commuting some of her (contributory) pension pot.

    (Police have always paid a large percentage in pension contributions, roughly double other civil servants, for a good final salary scheme)

    The exact figures are private but at least 60% percent of the quoted amount would have been pension commutation. She will still receive this on retirement together, as she would have done under Patten, an annual pension in the high five figures (roughly half her current salary).

    Of course in the time since she decided not to go for Patten she has been paid her salary, plus additions for housing and other sundries.

    So all in all not the financial sacrifice that has been spun.

  18. I’ve been reading she is to retire next March and depending on the date that the Chris ‘Dog’ Patten pay out window closed it might mean that she has worked a full 3 years since, making it close to £330,000 earned against that £500,000. Not such a big loss.

    She might have seen the work involved in turning the fortunes of the PSNI around which have dipped lately and came to the conclusion that moving it away from Police Serving Nationalist Interests might take more time than she has on her hands, such is the new depth plumbed by the PSNI. Particularly in reference to Ruth Patterson and Jamie Bryson and the stupid attempts by the PSNI at criminalising them and sections of one community in response to a bigoted council motion that bizarrely the Alliance party had a hand in.

  19. £170.000 “not such a big loss” DC your what i would call well to do, besides in those three years she could have been earning lolly employed eleswhere.
    AS for the pro irish nats depths, are we sure that rather than turning it around, the person in ? has not been driving the agenda.

  20. From the outset let me be clear that the RUC had to go but you need to know the manner of that going was put to the electorate very vaguely in the GFA as:

    An independent Commission will be established to make recommendations for future policing arrangements in Northern Ireland including means of encouraging widespread community support for these arrangements…

    A. The Commission will be broadly representative with expert and international representation among its membership and will be asked to consult widely and to report no later than Summer 1999.

    4. The participants believe that the aims of the criminal justice system are

    • deliver a fair and impartial system of justice to the community;

    • be responsive to the community’s concerns, and encouraging community
    involvement where appropriate;

    • have the confidence of all parts of the community; and

    • deliver justice efficiently and effectively. ‘

    It is clear as measured against those points that something has gone wrong.

    What the GFA should have done was said do you want a new police service that has no british flag anywhere, positive discrimination in recruitment and the old guard fucked out within a number of years, is this something you support?

    Yes / No

    That’ll be a NO – thank you!

  21. In relation to the NI criminal justice system / courts service its new branding upon becoming devolved to NI ditched the crown logo, unlike Scotland which kept it and remember Scotland is devolved too, I wonder what were the motives for doing this…..

    Here is an example of the old branding of the NI Courts Service:


    The newly devolved and deBritified Courts Service branding can be seen here:


    So the NI Courts Service has gone the way of the PSNI in terms of removing visible things that look British and you wonder how it could be that loyalists and politicians in support of the loyalist narrative get a raw deal at the hands of both?

  22. Reading back over this thread I see that I have been quite supportive of DCC Gillespie. Now I find that she is a long-term ardent Chelsea supporter. How will I ever live this down ?

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