Cllr Ford MLA said: “There is no excuse for Sinn Fein not to co-operate formally with the police. Sinn Fein need to formally endorse the policing structure in Northern Ireland.
“If policing and justice matters are to be devolved, all parties must fully support policing and back the rule of law.
“Alliance believes that these matters should only be devolved in the right way and in the correct circumstances. If Peter Hain’s recent comments are signalling a potential move in this direction then, in the correct circumstances and with the correct structures, I would welcome the devolution of these powers.
“I would however ask why the Secretary of State discussed a type of special dispensation for Sinn Fein, to support but not play a role in policing, when other parties are fully engaged in the policing system and supportive of its structures. Mr Hain’s acceptance of this half-hearted approach merely bows to hardline republicans.
“I would like to see the Secretary of State take a clear and consistent position on this matter, because there should be no side deals with either unionists or nationalist as regards engagement in the policing system.”