Reid calls on Sinn Féin to join Policing Board

The Northern Ireland Secretary of State has once again called on Sinn Féin to take up their seats on the Police Board.

Dr John Reid made his appeal before embarking to the US for a series of meetings with senior Washington officials about the current state of the peace process. The minister is planning to consult with Secretary of State Colin Powell, US attorney general John Ashcroft and the White House special advisor on Northern Ireland Richard Haass.

In a clear reference to Sinn Féin, Dr Reid spoke of those outside the Police Board "who are demanding constant confrontation and who are attempting to use every issue that comes up to criticise or undermine the Police Board and the police service, now will be seen to be doing that".

He continued: "And I am saying, as Richard Haass and the American administration have said all along to the republican representatives, you should be in this police board."

Dr Reid's plea came one month after special advisor Haass issued his call for the republican party to join the board. Mr Haass went further on that occasion and demanded that republicans should "stop discouraging people from joining the new police service".

There are 19 members on the board which replaced the Police Authority last year – 10 of whom are political and the rest are comprised of independents. Sinn Féin has consistently refused to take its two seats on the board and is the only major political party in Northern Ireland not to do so.

Speaking about his hopes for US visit, Mr Reid said: "First of all I am going to update the US administration on the progress in the peace process. To that end I will be meeting Richard Haass and the attorney general and thanking them for their continuing involvement and support.

"But my visit also has a broader purpose. We are going to discuss the experiences we have had in combating terrorism and how to do that in a democratic society. That is naturally the primary concern of everyone in the US after September 11."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

16 January 2002
US special envoy urges Sinn Féin to join Policing Board
US President George Bush’s special envoy to Northern Ireland has urged Sinn Féin to drop its objections to the new Police Board. Mr Richard Haass said it was in republicans’ own interest to put forward representatives to serve on the board alongside the other main political parties - including the SDLP.
04 December 2020
Time To Plan For A New Future For Everyone - SF
Sinn Féin have said that it is time to "plan for a new future which will work for everyone", as they welcome the publication by Ireland's Future of its discussion paper 'The Conversation on Ireland's Future: A Principled Framework for Change'.
04 September 2007
NI Policing Board Seeks Custody Visitors
The Northern Ireland Policing Board has launched a campaign to recruit Custody Visitors to join the Board’s Custody Visiting Scheme. The volunteer scheme, which operates throughout Northern Ireland, is a means of monitoring how people who are held in police custody are treated.
20 February 2004
Security Minister welcomes police training college decision
Security Minister Jane Kennedy has welcomed the Policing Board's decision to locate the new police training college in Cookstown, Co Tyrone. The new centre will built on a 210-acre site beside a food science centre at Desertcreat on the outskirts of the town and is expected to open in 2007 at a projected cost of about £80m.
17 August 2001
Policing plan for Northern Ireland is announced
Secretary of State Dr John Reid announced the updated policing plan for Northern Ireland on Friday.