The introduction begins with the provision of the 1998 Belfast Agreement in relation to policing and the subsequent Independent Commission on policing for Northern Ireland. It sets out the central issue tackled in the book as to whether the new beginning to policing, as envisaged in the report of the Independent Commission has indeed been delivered. The introduction credits three other expert contributors to the book – Edgar Jardine, Dr Sydney Elliott and Fraser Sampson each of whom wrote part or all of a chapter. It stresses how the work of the Policing Board positively influenced both the peace and political processes in Northern Ireland. Further, it highlights four themes in the book – representativeness in the police service’s composition, human rights policing, holding a police service effectively to account, and dealing with the legacy of over 3,500 deaths during the Troubles. It notes that the detailed issues relating to and arising from the Police Ombudsman’s investigation of the 1998 Omagh bombing, as well as the Ombudsman’s Office are matters for another book. The introduction records that the book is largely written on the basis of the Policing Board’s papers, and should be seen as a tribute to all who have played a part in the progress of policing over the past 15 years.
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