Stephen White Quoted: Ex-RUC chief in anti-terror role
November 9, 2010

UK News Letter


A RETIRED assistant chief constable who was once in charge of policing Drumcree has been praised for his role as part of a team of international security experts whose ground-breaking report will provide direction for countries seeking to gain the upper-hand in the fight against terrorism.

Former RUC and PSNI ACC Stephen White, who now works for QIASS (Qatar International Academy for Security Studies], was a member of its project team which presented a key report – Extremist Violence Risk Reduction – for the 79th Interpol general assembly.

Mr White – who has served as a senior police advisor and director of law and order for southern Iraq between July 2003 and January 2004 among other high profle security roles – was approached in April to join the team. And just months ago he took researchers from the project to meet former loyalist and republican terrorists in Ulster.

Mr White said he joined up with the research team when they came to the UK. He said the team “visited London, Leeds/Bradford and Belfast, meeting police, security services, community and non-governmental organisations – and former terrorists who are now disengaged and in many cases are strong advocates on non-violence”.

“In Northern Ireland we met community representatives and individuals, in groups and individually.

“Some had been active in loyalist paramilitary organisations (UDA and UVF), some in republican (IRA),” he said.

“All were aware that the research was concentrating on how we can minimise the risk of mainly young people becoming involved in violent extremism and were very open and honest about why individuals join, participate in campaigns and (in their cases) disengage from armed groups/activities.

“Some of the factors were very NI-specifc and contextual – others were seen to be more generic and applicable elsewhere.”

Mr White said the conclusions of the report “came as no surprise to me”, adding that “what works for one individual may not work for another – and what works in, say, Singapore may not work in the UK (and vice versa).

“But, by sharing good practices and continuing to work in a multi-disciplined and coherent strategy it is hoped that at least some further atrocities may be prevented and society made safer for citizens around the world,” he added.


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