Page last updated at 19:22 GMT, Thursday, 16 April 2009 20:22 UK

Reaction to Orde's departure

Sir Hugh Orde

Tributes have been paid to Sir Hugh Orde, who is leaving the Police Service of Northern Ireland after seven years in charge to become president of the Association of Chief Police Officers.

SHAUN WOODWARD, NORTHERN IRELAND SECRETARY

"Hugh has led the PSNI through great reform and met every challenge with great skill and leadership. It is to his immense credit the Police Service of Northern Ireland has developed into one of the most respected police services anywhere in the world.

"He has truly changed the face of policing in Northern Ireland. It stands as an organisation which both inspires and delivers effective and consummate community policing.

"We are all in his debt and he will be greatly missed by the public and officers of the PSNI. We wish him well."

JACQUI SMITH, HOME SECRETARY

"Sir Hugh brings with him an outstanding record of service to the public in London and most recently in Northern Ireland.

"I look forward to working with him as we embed the reforms to policing announced in last year's Green Paper, from further cutting police red tape to building public confidence and tackling local issues that matter to people across the country.

"My thanks go to Sir Ken Jones, the outgoing president, for his leadership of the service over the past three years - I, and my predecessors as Home Secretary, have valued his advice and support enormously."

SIR DESMOND REA, POLICING BOARD CHAIRMAN

"Whilst I deeply regret losing Sir Hugh Orde, I am nevertheless delighted that he has been appointed president of Acpo; and on behalf of the board I congratulate him on his success.

"Sir Hugh will bring considerable skills and professional experience to this role and his election to the post by his peers is evidence of the high esteem in which he is held."

DAME NUALA O'LOAN, FORMER POLICE OMBUDSMAN

"I think he brought many things. I think he brought a modern vision of policing and how policing could be in Northern Ireland.

"I think he brought courage. I think he brought integrity and I think he brought enormous leadership skills which enabled him to model the business of saying sorry when things went wrong."

DOLORES KELLY, SDLP POLICING BOARD MEMBER

"He gained the confidence of police officers but more importantly, he won the confidence of the whole community. When he came, support and participation from the nationalist community was minimal and strained.

"Now, 26% of officers are from that community and no part of our society is deprived of the services of the PSNI.

"Perhaps his greatest legacy will be the Historical Enquires Team which is bringing comfort and closure to families that endured 30 years of suffering."

SIR KEN JONES, OUTGOING ACPO PRESIDENT

"Sir Hugh brings a wealth of experience and leadership to Acpo at what is likely to be a very difficult and challenging time for the service.

"Increasingly the service and its leadership are being drawn into political controversies and it will fall to Sir Hugh to steer us on a sure path through the forthcoming period, both up to and beyond the next general election."

BASIL MCCREA, ULSTER UNIONIST POLICING BOARD MEMBER

"I think he has done a good job. He certainly had political - with a small p - skills in terms of keeping everyone happy.

"But there is another aspect to this as it does put the Policing Board in a quandary - replacing the chief constable, deputy chief constable and assistant chief constable - at a difficult time for policing.

"Obviously the biggest transition that he had to manage was the arrival of Sinn Féin on the Policing Board and support for policing. That required sensitive skills."

IAN PAISLEY JUNIOR, DUP POLICING BOARD MEMBER

"I think he led from the front and he confounded the sceptics and the critics because he has been a very highly regarded police officer locally," he said.

Mr Paisley said Sir Hugh was a staunch defender of his rank and file officers and was focused on delivering a top class service to the public.

DAVID FORD, ALLIANCE PARTY LEADER

"Sir Hugh has done a magnificent job in his seven years as chief constable, during which time there has been large strides forward in achieving confidence from all sides in the police.

"We now have a major task in finding a successor to Sir Hugh who will have to build on his good work, as well as having to deal with issues such as the completion of the devolution of policing and justice, and the threat from dissidents."

SUSAN ELLIOTT, US CONSUL GENERAL IN BELFAST

"His stewardship of police reforms and his determination to combat criminal and paramilitary activity has won him deep respect at the very highest levels of the US government.

"He will leave the Police Service of Northern Ireland as an organisation that epitomises the inspirational achievements of the Northern Ireland peace process. The United States wishes him well in his new position."

ALEX MASKEY, SINN FEIN POLICING BOARD MEMBER

"Transforming policing has never been about individuals. However Hugh Orde without doubt has made a significant contribution to many of the policing changes we have been part of in recent years.

"However his time has not been without problems. Under his leadership the PSNI have consistently withheld information from inquests and blocked families in their pursuit of the truth, and responses to ordinary criminal matters, particularly in working class areas, has been disappointing.

"We have also recently put on the record our dissatisfaction at the use of extended periods of detention."

JIM ALLISTER, TRADITIONAL UNIONIST VOICE

"Hugh Orde's departure will not sadden me.

"He was a highly political chief constable, a peace-process peeler, who at the government's behest overplayed the 'normalisation' game; denuding the PSNI of a terrorist-fighting capacity and adequate intelligence-gathering facilities, making it easier of the IRA to return to murder in recent weeks.

"Moreover, his fingerprints are all over the appalling and dangerous policy of wholesale removal of personal protection weapons from former members of the security forces."

DAWN PURVIS, PROGRESSIVE UNIONIST PARTY LEADER

"Sir Hugh Orde has overseen a period of massive change within his organisation.

"In managing that change, he has shown exceptional leadership and at the same time increased public confidence and community support for policing.

"He has been a force for good, his record is to be commended, and I wish him well for the future."



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