Tom King – 1986 Statement on the Royal Ulster Constabulary

Below is the text of the speech made by Tom King, the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, in the House of Commons on 8 April 1986.

In the last month there have been 138 attacks on off-duty members of the RUC and the RUC Reserve, and their homes and families. The vast majority have taken place in predominantly Protestant areas. The whole House will wish to join me in condemning utterly these cowardly and disgraceful attacks on the men and women of the RUC who have given such loyal and courageous service to defend the Province against terrorism and to uphold law and order.

The Chief Constable, with the full support of the Police Authority for Northern Ireland and of the Superintendents Association and the Police Federation, has put arrangements in hand to provide quick and effective assistance to police officers and their families who are subject to attack or other forms of intimidation. Extra patrols are being mounted in vulnerable areas, and steps have been taken to provide suitable alternative accommodation for those unfortunate enough to have to move from their homes. In addition, the police are making strenuous efforts to bring the people responsible for this criminal behaviour to justice, and a considerable number have already been charged with serious offences associated with it.

I welcome the fact that the Churches and the more responsible political leaders have condemned without any qualification these outrages.
I look to the whole community to join together to defeat these acts of terrorism against its own police force, and to give every possible support to bring those responsible to justice.