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Thursday, 9 September, 1999, 14:01 GMT 15:01 UK
Gratuitous insult, says UUP
Trimble
David Trimble: "This could be horrendous in its implications"

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The unionist community has reacted with anger at the recommendations contained in the report on the future of the RUC.

The Ulster Unionist Party has said the proposal to change the name of the force and its badge was a "gratuitous insult" to the unionist community.

Ulster Unionist leader, David Trimble said: "Were this to be implemented at the wrong time and, with the event of a resumption of violence, this could be horrendous in its implications and I want to look at that.

"What I have made absolutely clear is that we are deeply offended gratuitous insult to the community with regard to the name, the flag and the badge.

"There is also a question of the substance of the report on policing. We will look at that carefully and we will give a considered view."

The Ulster Unionists expressed particular concern about proposals which could cause "the emasculation of the special branch".

Democratic Unionist Party deputy leader Peter Robinson said his party would vigorously oppose what it saw as disbandment of the force.

He said: "What kind of a peace process is it that sees the terrorist organisations remaining unchanged while the law enforcement agency is effectively disbanded?"

The party has accused commission chairman Chris Patten of having "botched the job be was sent to do".

Robert McCartney: "Fundamentally flawed"
Northern Ireland Unionist Party leader Cedric Wilson called the report "a gratuitous insult to the professional integrity and operational efficiency of the RUC in its defence of the citizens of Northern Ireland over the long years of terrorism".

Robert McCartney MP, leader of the UK Unionist Party, condemned the proposal for Sinn Fein to be given two places on the new policing board.

The policing board should have the power to require the chief constable to report on any issue linked to the performance of his functions or those of his service.

He said it seemed to him that was the "fundamental flaw" in the report.

Mr McCartney said: "How can a government propose placing on a Police Authority two members of a party which the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland have repeatedly stated are inextricably linked with the main source of terrorist activity in Northern Ireland, namely the IRA."

Read BBC News Online's full special report on policing reform in Northern Ireland

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09 Sep 99 | N Ireland
09 Sep 99 | N Ireland
09 Sep 99 | N Ireland
09 Sep 99 | N Ireland
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