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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 May 2007, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK
Officers call for past probe halt
PSNI crest
The association said an unfair focus had been put on police actions
Senior police officers have urged the government to "pause for breath" in re-examining Northern Ireland's past.

The Superintendents' Association NI said there was currently a hierarchy of victims based on political pressure.

It said inquiries and investigative teams established to probe murders and wrongdoing had put a disproportionate focus on police actions.

Anti-terrorist methods had been exposed and officers and informants could be identified, the association added.

Association president Stephen Grange said reports and investigations had been left open to misinterpretation and could cause confidence in policing to be undermined.

"We have grave concerns about the present management and focus of this process," Mr Grange told the association's annual general meeting.

"Quite simply the present arrangements are not working."

He said the government should call a halt to the process, consult widely and create a public body to manage it in the best interest of all victims.

"Only when such a body has been established and adequately resourced, with all involved having a clear understanding and expectation of what that body can deliver, can we properly contend with and learn from the past - without inhibiting our future opportunities."

'Political pressure'

Mr Grange said the investigation of aspects of the past seemed to be motivated by political pressure.

"We have to abandon this hierarchy of victimhood based on political pressure, ie the costly Bloody Sunday and Cory inquiries, or the availability and willingness of a lavishly financed body to investigate just one organisation in particular."

In March, a group representing more than 3,000 retired police officers published criticism of a Police Ombudsman's report into collusion.

The Retired Police Officers' Association, said a report by Nuala O'Loan's office, which found Special Branch had colluded with UVF members in north Belfast was riddled with basic errors of fact and judgement.

They accused the ombudsman of misusing the word "collusion" in a way which had led to it being used as "a political catchphrase".

Mrs O'Loan rejected the criticism.

O'Loan rejects report criticism
21 Mar 07 |  Northern Ireland
O'Loan report 'was error riddled'
20 Mar 07 |  Northern Ireland
Cory criticises inquiry 'changes'
22 Feb 06 |  Northern Ireland

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