David Ford said high standards must be maintained in the PSNI
Alliance leader David Ford has conceded that some IRA members could end up
in the police service in the future.
Mr Ford did not dispute that recent IRA recruits who had no record of
illegal activity might get jobs in the PSNI.
He said the important thing was to focus on the existing safeguards to
ensure police officers upheld the law.
“We may have to accept that there will be certain bad apples, some of whom
may or may not be politically motivated, appear in the police service,” he
Mr Ford told BBC Radio Ulster’s Inside Politics programme on Saturday: “It
may be that certain people may get through by putting the right kind of
story in a interview.
“But there’s still procedures and one of the virtues of the reform system is
that we have people like the oversight commissioner, people like the
ombudsman and we have the highest standards being ensured for the PSNI and
all its operations.
“The key thing is to ensure that the police service is run as best can be
and those bad apples will be weeded out.”
A review of policing in Northern Ireland by former Hong Kong Governor Chris
Patten was one of the key elements of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
The Patten Report planned a “peace-time” service of 7,500 regular officers
and 2,500 part-timers.
The force changed its name from the Royal Ulster Constabulary to the Police
Service of Northern Ireland in November 2001.