Secretary of State Peter Hain is at the centre of a religious policing row after he appeared to agree with a statement that Catholic officers in Northern Ireland could be exempted from duty in Protestant areas. During a broadcast of 'Any Questions' on Radio Four Mr Hain also said it was a "regular feature" of policing in Northern Ireland that Catholic officers could be removed from situations where they were considered to be at risk.
Hang on one cotton-picking moment! I don't care what religion, if any, a Police Officer has. I expect all officers to fairly enforce the rule of law everywhere. I totally refute Hain's idea that Roman Catholic officers can get an opt-out of Protestant areas. If we follow that logic, can Protestant officers also get an opt-out of Roman Catholic areas? And what about atheist officers - shouldn't they also get an opt-out of any area where religious proclivities exist?This is SO silly. There should be no opt out for ANY Police Officer based on their religion. This is a form of institutionalised policing apartheid.
So, what was all that fuss about the Muslim pc who was removed from Israeli Embassy?
This is nothing to do with which policeman goes where. It is a heavy-handed and obvious way to try to get more left-footers into the political wing of PSNI. How many more political wings are there to be - Sinn Fein seem to be doing OK in holding the ring.
Just after we went to aid of civil powers, there was a problem with law enforcement in Belfast. No one was being put to process anywhere. Big hush-hush meeting at Knock discovered that almost universal RUC attitude was that if the people in Nationalist areas were excused the law, RUC would not enforce the law in Loyalist areas. Basically - they never did until we pushed joint-patrols down their throat.
Policing by belief could bring this situation back methinks.