Thursday, January 19, 2006


Political policing continues

Trust me! I'm sure you've heard by now the recent furore surrounding comments by Sam Kinkaid, the PSNI's most senior detective, who said that the IRA is still involved in organised crime.

Unionists have reacted angrily because Mr Kincaid's comments contradict Security Minister Shaun Woodward (pictured left) who last month said the IRA was not active.

The DUP has called for Mr Woodward to resign, while the UUP has said the police view was a "damning assessment" of his credibility. Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams described the briefing as "a political intervention".

Mr Kinkaid, the PSNI's assistant chief constable in charge of crime operations, gave his assessment of the IRA's activities during a private briefing to the Policing Board on Tuesday.

It is believed Mr Kincaid said there had been significant progress in terms of ending some activities on the part of the IRA, such as paramilitary attacks and armed robberies.

However, he told board members that no paramilitary group, including the IRA, has ceased involvement in organised crime. He added the police had seen no change in this for a year.

The Security Minister has stood by his assessment that the IRA is distancing itself from organised crime.

Mr Woodward said: "There is clearly a distinction to be made between the activity of individuals and the intention of organisations."

Someone is being dishonest here and as
Big Ulsterman noted, either the PSNI are engaging in political policing or else the British government are covering up for IRA activity in order to get the North's assembly up and running.

I'm inclinded to think it's the former. We have all seen the damage that British Intelligence has done over the last few weeks and months through the Donaldson affair and it's clear that high ranking figures in MI5 do not wish to see the peace process move forward.

I see this as yet another attempt to derail the political situation in the North and therefore I strongly condemn it.

I think we need to trust the word of the British Security Minister in this instance.


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