Adams meets PSNI chief as policing remains crunch issue
Sinn Fein has described its historic first ever meeting with the
chief of the British police in the North, Hugh Orde, as
Mr Adams told reporters after a party delegation held lengthy
talks with Mr Orde in London that "good work" had been done
the meeting. he said that he had agreed to meet the PSNI chief
to discuss the "hugely important" issue of the "demilitarisation
of republican heartlands".
At the same time Mr Adams said he and Mr Orde had not discussed
the wider policing issues.
Mr Orde was also in a positive mood after yesterday's meeting.
He said: "We discussed security normalisation and policing. The
fact that the meeting happened is very significant.
"It is the first time I have met Mr Adams and it was an
opportunity to explain about policing and how we have moved on."
Nationalist SDLP leader Mark Durkan said the meeting between Mr
Adams and Mr Orde was well overdue but was in danger of being
Mr Durkan said everyone knew that Sinn Fein have to adjust its
position on policing and that this meeting was a part of that
"I hope that now that the Sinn Fein leadership is meeting with
the PSNI, they will instruct their activists on the ground to
stop heckling those in the community who engage with the police
service on a day-to-day basis," Mr Durkan said.
In the event of a deal between Sinn Fein and the DUP, questions
remain over the timescale for the devolution of policing powers.
The DUP has been claiming to reporters that under the proposals
put forward by the British and irish governments last week, it
has an effective veto over such an event. It is understood that
Sinn Fein has been seeking to pin down a timetable for
devolution of policing and justice powers to a restored Belfast
One projected timetable points to the creation of a new Six
County policing and justice ministry in the early part of 2006.