It’s a corruption of policing to treat the powerful softly while making ordinary people abide by the rules

It is a letter from Dr Paul Kingsley:

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 9:39 am
Letter to the editor

In responding to criticism about his officers’ co-operation with Sinn Fein at Bobby Storey’s funeral, the chief constable told a press conference earlier this week, “I stand behind the actions of the senior officers in the planning of this operation, it was entirely consistent with our training and good practice, and indeed were I to go, it would undermine our future planning of any event like this.”

This amounts to saying, “We did not do anything wrong, and if I resigned it would discourage my fellow officers from doing the same thing again.”

The level of ‘engagement’ between the police and the funeral organisers before and during the event was given as a reason why a prosecution would be unlikely to succeed.

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The police, feared the PPS, could be said to have condoned Sinn Fein’s behaviour.

Simon Byrne believes that he is engaged in modern, sophisticated policing based on dialogue. Others would simply see it as political corruption.

If you have a big gang which contains important people who are crucial to something called ‘the peace process’, the police will negotiate with you.

Nothing will be put in writing. It will all be done by nods and winks, providing plausible deniability.

The outcome is that they will allow the breaking of the law to avoid upsetting the politically important and the powerful. Gone is the idea of the rule of law where rules are applied without fear or favour to everyone equally. How much of the law that is applied to you depends on your status.

Ordinary people with little power just have to abide by the rules. Those in a big gang are dealt with differently. They get dialogue.

If we do not see this as political corruption of the police force, then do we not need to take a good hard look at ourselves?

Dr Paul Kingsley, Belfast BT4

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