Sheehy reforms 'damaging'

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THE Sheehy police reforms could lead to a 'politically influenced' service, police warned yesterday.

Representatives from associations covering all ranks up to chief constable said at a meeting in Drymen, near Loch Lomond in central Scotland, that the proposals could damage independence and impartiality.

A communique said it was 'common ground' that police had themselves launched a programme of radical change in recent years. They needed to consider the proposals of the committee chaired by Sir Patrick Sheehy in greater detail before giving their final verdict, but there was 'deep concern' about the impact that they might have.

'Such far-reaching constitutional change could ultimately work to the detriment of the public by changing the service from an independent, impartial and accountable organisation into a politically influenced and potentially partisan service with a diminished discretionary role,' the communique said.