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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 9, 1999


I welcome the unanimous recommendations of the Independent Commission on Policing (The Patten Commission), which represent an important outcome of the Good Friday Agreement. While it is up to the people of Northern Ireland to address the specific proposals, I strongly endorse the Report's guiding objective -- to take politics out of policing in Northern Ireland. The benchmarks identified -- effectiveness, efficiency, impartiality, accountability, representativeness, and respect for human rights -- are the guideposts for good policing everywhere. The Commission's recommendations focus on assuring a professional police service in Northern Ireland that meets the highest possible standards and that enjoys the support of the community as a whole. The Commission's approach draws on best practices from other police forces, including those in the United States. I am pleased that two distinguished Americans served on the Patten Commission, and I commend Chris Patten and all the members of the Commission for their efforts.

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