Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein challenge PSNI chief Hamilton over violence and criminality of UDA

By David Young, PA

Northern Ireland's police chief has expressed frustration at a political stalemate over introducing new mechanisms to deal with the legacy of the Troubles.

George Hamilton said he aired his feelings during a meeting with Sinn Fein at Stormont yesterday.

During the exchanges the republican party challenged the chief constable on his efforts to clamp down on the violence and criminality of the UDA, and also on the PSNI's failure to complete a probe into the historic activities of the UVF's notorious Glenanne gang.

After the meeting, Mr Hamilton stressed a new independent Historical Investigations Unit, as outlined in the 2014 Stormont House Agreement, has still not be created due to the wider political impasse at Stormont.

He said: "I was able to share my concern and indeed my frustration at the political stalemate that means that we haven't got the Stormont House institutions up and running.

"I want to see the Historical Investigations Unit established, I've been a long time advocate and supporter of that. Whatever help we can bring to the table around professional policing advice to that we will do that."

During the discussions in Stormont Castle, Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill highlighted a court judgment that criticised the PSNI for a failure to conduct an overarching examination of the extent of state collusion with the loyalist Glenanne gang.

"We want to be assured that everything is being done that should be done," said Ms O'Neill as she called for action from the PSNI.

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