Page 1, 27th February 1998

27th February 1998
Page 1
Page 1, 27th February 1998 — BESS TWISTON DAVIES

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CATHOLIC CONFIDENCE in the northern Irish police force, the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) has risen dramatically since 1996, a new report by the Northern Ireland Police Authority disclosed last week.

49 percent of all Catholics questioned about the RUC in 1997 praised the RUC compared to 37 percent in 1996. But Protestant satisfaction with the RUC fell three percent from 88 to 85 percent between 1996 and 1997.

The SDLP alleged the report consisted of "half truths" last week. Mr Alex Attwood accused the Northern Ireland Police Authority of "not reflecting the experience of Nationalists." Pat Armstrong, Chairman of the Northern Ireland Police Authority, told the Catholic Herald: "The RLJC is viewed in two contexts: as a service to the local area, the general view is that it is doing a good job. But figures on policing the province are lower, reflect concerns over the RUC and the Parade season."

Mgr Denis Faul believes Ronnie Flanagan, the new RUC chief Constable, is the reason for new-found Catholic confidence in the RUC.

"The previous head of the RUC, Sir Hugh Annesley was very good, but Flanagan is outstanding," Mgr Faul said. "He is an excellent communicator, he is willing to listen and he puts his cards in the table. He has done a lot to break down the old lack of trust between Catholics and

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