6/23/2005

UDR - PSNI - All the Same?

I see from this morning's Irish News that new recruits to the "new improved and non-secterian" PSNI are to be trained by a former officer of the UDR. As Gerry Kelly correctly points out, this sort of appointment simply reinforces the doubts and disullionsment of many Nationalists on the policing issue. How can a man who served as a member of the naked secterian Unionist militia which was the UDR possibly be seen as an acceptable appointment to what was supposed to be an police service for both sides of the community? To get a flavour of the views inherient in the UDR, former UDR commandant Brigadier David Millar once said that if he sacked members just beacuse they were a member of a loyalist paramilitary group, he would be left without a regiment. Appointing a man from such a background is surely sending out the wrong signal to those in the Nationalist community who want a fresh start to policing, far detatched from the secterian failures of the past. It seems that even if we get progress of demilitarisation, the PSNI will simply become a new military style police force if they are allowed to continue down this route.

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