Following the publication of the Police Ombudsman report into collusion between the RUC and loyalist paramilitaries a PSNI spokesperson has apologised for the suffering felt by victims in what has been described as “collusive behaviours” between police and the UDA/UFF.
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Jonathan Roberts said: “It is important to say that, first and foremost, I recognise the continuing distress being felt by all of the families of those killed and injured in these attacks and want to acknowledge the pain and suffering that they all continue to feel. They have suffered as a result of the Troubles and, understandably, they continue to seek answers.
“Areas of the report make uncomfortable reading and I want to offer my sincere apologies to the families of those killed and injured for the failings identified in this report. We will never seek to excuse bad policing and where criticism is reasonably made the Police Service will acknowledge and address that. There is a willingness to consider and examine police actions openly, professionally and proportionately; where there has been wrongdoing, those responsible should be held to account for their actions.
“We have recognised the deficiencies and failings that have been previously highlighted by a number of inquiries regarding the handling and dissemination of intelligence by the RUC. These have been addressed by the restructuring of our intelligence systems and processes through the formation of Crime Department. This Department is led by a single Assistant Chief Constable to ensure consistency and transparency by full and proper oversight of both the investigative and intelligence branches within a single Department.
“Policing has developed enormously over the past thirty years and the Police Service of Northern Ireland now have greatly improved policies and procedures which guide our response to potential threats and how we approach criminal investigations. Intelligence handling, training and investigative standards for detectives, forensic opportunities and family liaison processes are today are unrecognisable from what was in place at the time of these attacks.”