asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if, in view of the widespread anxiety, and resentment at the treatment of members of the Roman Catholic community held in Royal Ulster Constabulary interrogation centres under Section 10 of the Emergency Provisions Act 1973 and Section 12 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1976 especially since the Appointment of Mr. Kenneth Newman as Chief Constable of the RUC, he will set up an inquiry into the operation of detention and the conduct of the interrogation centres.
No. The RUC is committed to the enforcement of the law within the law, and I am satisfied that there are adequate procedures for the protection of the rights of persons in police custody and for the investigation of any complaints.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) if he will call for a report from the Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary concerning the circumstances in which Mr. Owen Roe O'Neill, and Mr. Eugene McStravick, of Coalisland, Co. Tyrone, were arrested on Thursday 12th May and held for seven days in Cookstown police station and their condition on release, in view of the fact that the Royal Ulster Constabulary informed the hon. Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, during their detention, that they did not need a doctor, though they had to be given medical treatment on their release;(2) if he will call for a report from the Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary concerning the circumstances in which Mr. Eugene McStravick, of Coalisland, Co. Tyrone, was arrested on 3rd June and held in Castlereagh police station under Section 10 of the Emergency Provisions Act 1973, in view of the treatment given to Mr. McStravick while in custody, of which he was told not to complain to his doctor or anyone else;(3) if he will call for a report from the Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary into the actions of detectives in ill treating Mr. Damien O'Hagan, of Annagher, Coalisland, and Mr. Fergus Harte, of Meenagh Park, Coalisland, while the town of Dungannon was sealed off by Loyalists on tractors for six hours without any action being taken against them by the police.
I understand that formal complaints have been made to the Chief Constable by the persons concerned, and these are being investigated. It therefore would be inappropriate for me to make further comment at this moment in time. All complaints are dealt with by a separate department at RUC headquarters or by a senior officer from another division, and where a complaint alleges a criminal offence by a police officer, the investigation report must be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland for indepenedent decision on whether or not criminal proceedings should be brought.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will take steps to alleviate the feelings of public unease created by the ill-treatment at some centres of Roman Catholic detainees arrested under the emergency powers legislation; and if he will bring forward proposals for a system for handling complaints against the police which would have general public support, in the light of the loss of confidence in the present system.
The Police (Northern Ireland) Order 1977 provides for the establishment of a Police Complaints Board, which will receive copies of police investigation reports into complaints. The Board is empowered in certain circumstances to require that disciplinary charges be preferred against a police officer or that they be heard by a tribunal on which the Board is represented. The new procedures are expected to come into operation later this year.