Introduction from the Chief Constable
The Police Service of Northern Ireland is committed to achieving a safe and secure future for everyone living here. We will do that by providing a professional,effective policing service.
But while we look with optimism to the future, few would suggest that we forget the past. Many people still have questions relating to violent deaths over a period of 30 years. These impact on our daily work as a Police Service, and on the lives of many hundreds, if not thousands of people.
There are many reasons why it is important to seek answers to those, not least of these is the pain and hurt of those who live with them every day. I have met fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters - people from all sides who struggle with questions about the deaths of their relatives. Often they just ask how or why, believing that these details will bring, if not some level of comfort, at least a measure of knowledge and understanding. Indeed, many have accepted that prosecutions may never be possible. They are simply looking for someone to tell them the story of how their relative died.
This is why we, as police, sought to devise a way of dealing with the past in a more organised and comprehensive way. We have worked closely with the Northern Ireland Office and the Department of Justice in formalising and funding a special unit – the Historical Enquiries Team - to review old cases. It is a unique policing initiative and it re-examines all deaths which can be attributed to the security situation here between 1968 and 1998.
It is a massive challenge but I believe we can meet it because we have put in place proper resources and structures and the right people.
Families will sit at the heart of all of our enquiries. We have a simple message. We do care. We work in a determined and genuine way to meet our objective of bringing some measure of resolution to as many people as possible.
|The Historical Enquiries Team works to try to help people bereaved by the Troubles by answering their questions and looks at each case thoroughly with a view to bringing forward any new or remaining evidential opportunities. It is an independent police team which reports directly to the Chief Constable on operational matters.|