Referencing the report issued by the Police Ombudsman released in February, whilst speaking in Northern Ireland Questions in the House of Commons, Mrs Lockhart said:
“The sacrifice made by members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC is one which I, and many across Northern Ireland, will never forget. Over 300 officers were killed and almost 9000 injured, mostly at the hands of the IRA.
A recent report by the Police Ombudsman, laden with innuendo, has caused great hurt and offence amongst former RUC officers, and families of those who lost their lives in the line of duty.
Will the Secretary of State ensure that the service and sacrifice of the RUC will not be allowed to be besmirched under the auspices of addressing the legacy of our past?”
Mrs Lockhart added:
“There is palpable anger amongst former RUC officers at the despicable commentary of the Police Ombudsman, particularly the use of the term ‘collusive behaviour’.
This baseless slur against a force that stood firm against terrorism, and paid such a heavy price with the loss of colleagues, must not become the established narrative around the brave and heroic service of the RUC GC. We know that this is the desire of some, and that they see the processes around the legacy of the past as the vehicle by which to besmirch the service and sacrifice of all those who donned a uniform, and protected democracy in this part of the United Kingdom against the evil actions of terrorists.
I welcome the Secretary of State’s recognition of the price paid by the RUC GC, but it must go beyond words. We need to see a pro-active countering of this narrative from the Government, not fuelled by public bodies like the Police Ombudsman Office.”