Thursday, September 9, 1999 Published at 15:04 GMT 16:04 UK
UK: Northern Ireland
Policing report leaves parties unhappy
The report recommends the name of the force be changed
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Republicans and nationalists in Northern Ireland have criticised the Patten Report recommendations for not going far enough towards disbandment of the RUC.
Unionists said the report was an insult to the force.
A statement from the Ulster Unionist Party said changes to policing in Northern Ireland "will flow from an end to terrorist violence".
It said: "Instead of an insistence on this point, the Patten commission has allowed itself to be diverted into a gratuitous insult by stripping the service of its name, badge and union flag.
"The ban on the flag runs counter to the constitutional provisions of the Belfast Agreement: abolition of the badge disregards the commission's own terms of reference which enjoin emblems representative of the community as a whole.
'New policing service'
Sinn Fein said it was premature for people to reach conclusions at this stage.
"From our point of view what we want to establish over the course of the coming weeks and discuss in dialogue with our people is whether or not what has been proposed is in effect the creation of a new policing service.
"If we create a new policing service then we will have effectively disbanded the RUC, that's the test in my opinion."
He said: "We have an opportunity, not just to accept something which Chris Patten has drawn up, to manage, to shape, to help to devise a system which all of us can be comfortable with and can assume responsibility for."
Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and his cabinet called for "early and effective implementation" of the report's recommendations under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.
The Irish Government said the recommendations would strengthen the effectiveness of the police throughout the island of Ireland by enhancing relations between the police forces on both sides of the border.
But he warned that many of the recommendations would have to await a "permanent end to violence and real progress on decommissioning illegally held arms and explosives".
Proposals such as reducing the number of officers, reducing the work of the special branch and downgrading security at police stations would be "extremely dangerous until the security situation is permanently improved".
The Conservatives could not see any merit in changing the name of the force, or its insignia badges, he continued.