The idea that the Bobby Storey policing report was ‘comprehensive’ is a fiction

A letter from Samuel Morrison:

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 12:09 am
Updated Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 12:15 am
Letter to the editor

Justice Minister Naomi Long claims that she cannot see why there should be an inquiry into the Bobby Storey funeral.

She claims this because HMIC (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary) has already produced a report, one she welcomed as “comprehensive” (later seeming to downgrade that to “extensive”).

Yet since the publication of this ‘comprehensive’ report the ‘events company’ to whom the PSNI effectively subcontracted policing on the day of the funeral is said not to exist. Mrs Long herself has suggested that it was a “company/individual”.

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How can she maintain the fiction that the report was comprehensive?

Who are the Black and Whites and why do they only appear at Provo funerals?

Why could HMIC “find no evidence of the 4Es [Engage, Explain, Encourage and Enforce] approach in the Gold Command Strategy”?

Why is HMIC left to express surprise at the lack of any contemporaneous note of the contact between a senior PSNI officer and Gerry Kelly?

HMIC note that in planning large public events police often consult with other organisations. They pointedly note that when it came to the Storey funeral the PSNI did not consult the PPS (Public Prosecution Service).

Why?

Why is it that when 400 gathered for Storey’s wake police were told to keep a “safe distance” because they “were greatly outnumbered”?

Why was the PSNI reduced to the farcical point of submitting Sinn Fein’s own video of the funeral as evidence to the PPS because their own footage was taken from so far away it was useless?

If the PSNI didn’t abdicate their responsibility to police the funeral why did the Gold Commander on the day tell HMIC he had “no idea” what the police could have done differently when they realised stewarding wasn’t working as anticipated?

Could it be that Mrs Long is anxious to stop people asking questions like this because the answers would be too much for the process?

Samuel Morrison, TUV Dromore, Co Down

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