Alliance Party Leader, David Ford MLA, expressed astonishment at the British Government’s announcement of a detailed two-year security normalisation plan, removing watchtowers, fortified police stations and most army bases.
David Ford said:
“While we are all working towards the day when we can have normal policing in Northern Ireland, there was nothing in the IRA’s recent statement to indicate that it is wise to so radically repeal our current security apparatus at the moment.
“The IRA statement said nothing about accepting the legitimacy of either the northern or southern state with respect to policing and criminal justice.
“The IRA statement said nothing about dismantling its ‘front’ organisations and organised crime networks.
“There has been no report by the Independent Monitoring Commission on any actions by the IRA in compliance with their own pledges.
“Especially in regards to decommissioning, where is the IRA’s two-year disarmament plan? The IRA pledges to ‘engage’ with the IICD, to ‘further enhance public confidence’. But Northern Ireland society has been waiting for IRA full decommissioning since the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998.
“Alliance wants to see a normal society, with normal policing and security. If we had seen positive action by the IRA, then it would have been entirely appropriate for the Government to respond in kind. For it to do so without IRA action is premature.”