Letter: Patten's police

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The Patten report is shot through with common sense ("Patten accused of `ghastly blunder' over RUC report", 10 September). Unfortunately in Northern Ireland that can sometimes be a disadvantage.

Take, for instance, the eminently reasonable suggestion that the pace of reform should depend on the security situation. Coupled with the threat to Special Branch, this provides an incentive for some very powerful and secretive people to foment trouble.

There have been documented cases of the use of agents provocateurs before.

What guarantee do we have now that, with jobs and a whole way of life at stake, this will not happen again?

NICK MARTIN-CLARK

London N17

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