Why we need international oversight of the PSNI
Submitted by Fra Hughes…
We have a National Health Service
We have a National Education Service
We have a Regional Police Service
If a hospital fails to discharge its duties in full compliance with national guidelines, or falls below a national standard level acceptable to the Mandarins in the health service and the local population, then it is brought under Administration.
There are people from outside of the local or regional organisation brought in to oversee its return to compatible acceptable functionality.
If a school fails to meet its obligated standards, is run poorly or dysfunctionally, the head of the school and its senior managers can be relieved of position and others put in charge, to turn around the failing school, which has been detrimental to the education of the children and the community. New ideas, independent and progressive can be brought to bear.
The regional Police Service of Northern Ireland is just another governmental body, like the Education Boards and the Health Boards.
With the rank and file members, managers and Ceo’s, such as the Chief constable.
The Patton Reforms which saw the disbandment of the Royal Ulster Constabulary have failed.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland became operational on November 4, 2001.
Its function was to replace a colonial, partisan, pro-British, sectarian police force, which was unacceptable to the Nationalist and Republican community, with a new Police service. A service which was more representative of the community at large and had an opportunity to begin again with buy-in from both communities.
It could be argued that the historic chance of creating a force representative of and reflective of, the whole of society here, has been thrown away.
The actions of the Police Service of Northern Ireland from its very inception can be claimed to be flawed.
After the initial 50/50 recruitment drive to rebalance the force was rolled out, many former members of the now-discredited RUC were re-enlisted.
It appears the reforms promised were either an exercise in public relations or propaganda.
It also appears that those in charge stayed in charged and it has been dysfunctional from the start.
The initial success of recruiting a more representative force has stumbled.
Many Catholics who joined the service left.
The 50/50 recruitment drive ended.
In one of the latest recruitment drives, Catholics who make up 50% of more of the population, less than 21% joined the new recruits in 2019.
Catholic officers made up less than 11% of senior posts in the PSNI in 2019.
Where does that leave us?
We have under-representation of the Catholic/Nationalist community in this regional police force.
Calls to reintroduce 50/50 recruitment will not change 100 years of colonial policing, as the last 20 years have proven.
We have Catholic police officers of the PSNI claiming there are senior officers actively resisting the changes that are required to see Patton’s reforms met.
There are an ethos and history of partisan policing here which discriminates against the indigenous Irish and others.
They may have changed the uniform but they have not changed the colonial mindset of the police service.
The RUC was created to defend the newly created state of N.Ireleand in, 1922. They were a colonial police force for a colonial outpost of British imperialism in Ireland. Their purpose was to defend Northern Ireland’s position with in the United Kingdom. They were and are an armed paramilitary wing of the state,
An almost exclusively, pro-British, anti-Irish, constabulary, whose reason d’etre was never to police with consent and fight criminality but to oppress, spy on, marginalise and imprison the Nationalist community, its leaders and advocates for Irish reunification.
The three days of rioting in Derry between the RUC and the local community is a testament that we have had a partisan local armed militia in charge of policing here, from the beginning of the history of partition in Ireland and before.
20 years have failed to see a fundamental change in the method or practices of the Police Service here.
Special Branch still runs the show and its network of paid paramilitary informers with their get out of jail cards.
MI5 now has priority over-policing here, putting its anti-nationalist, anti-republican agenda at the top of operational decisions, while it continues to run its network of paid paramilitary informers, with their get out of jail cards and undercover agents involved in exactly what, we do not know? They operate in our name but their actions are above, as well as outside of the law.
If it’s not working let us fix it.
When the RUC failed the population at large it was disbanded.
A new force instigated.
That force has failed too.
If it is not fit for purpose we should disband it.
Prior to either full reform or full disbandment of the RUC in new clothes the PSNI, it must be treated just like the education service, health service or any other failing public body and taken under administration.
Experienced ,outside leaders of policing must be brought in, to end the colonial, sectarian policies, ethos and practices of the PSNI.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.