Baggott the RUC/PSNI Chief of British Paramilitary police retires today, after five years. His assistant is an RUC man called Hamilton, has been appointed to replace him. Baggott said that the RUC/PSNI past was "toxic" and a huge drain on resources, bleeding the ordinaryBritish taxpayer dry.
Baggot revealed that when he joined the RUC/PSNI five years ago, he had not expected the quick upsurge in political violence, like "Trying to blow up the Policing Board, trying to blow up (Palace) Barracks, mortars, close quarter shoots, assassinations, 174 terrorist attacks in 2010... and then there was public order.All the stuff the media keep secret from the world while pretending there is a peace process here.
He said "One night last year, 84 separate protests and riots were running at the same time. We had half the number (of SS men), for the first time in 40 years," doesn't sound normal, does it,but again the media did not tell us about it, because there is supposed to be censorship to support an illusionary peace process.
Baggott admitted that even though he had worked in the likes of Peckham and Brixton, and dealt with the miners' strike, British Occupied Ireland had been the most difficult environment he had worked. "It has been (the most challenging) because of the terrorism and the public order problems and the sectarian issues that still remain... " no that's not peace process stuff either is it.
He added that he can't wait to get out of the place fast enough or words to that effect. He said: "I do know it is the right time to move on, although I have the option of two more years on my contract but I want to get out of here in one piece, while I am still alive and have a bit of sanity left"
Baggott pulled his police cap on back to front and in his best Lauren Cooper impersonation saying: "Am I bovvered?" Obviously after 5 years in Belfast he has lost it. "If it had been a better day you could have snatched a photograph of me sunning myself naked on a deckchair outside," he said before he was administered more medication.
As he prepared to hang up his SS uniform, after five of the most difficult years of his life at the helm of the RUC/PSNI SS, he visibly began to relax. He joked about a photograph of himself during last year's fleg protests in which the strain of the job is clearly etched across his face. "I looked about 100 in that photograph."
He opened a door in his office and pointed to the wall behind it. "That's where I would go to bang my head. If you look closely you'll see all the dents from my head in the wall," he said.
"The past is toxic to the PSNI and a huge drain on resources... the past is a huge dilemma, that has to be resolved, and then there was the sudden resurgence in dissident republican attacks and serious public order situations. There was a lot to deal with when I first arrived that I hadn't expected," he says.
Deborah McAleese asked Baggott a few questions.
Q: You could have stayed for an extra two years. What made you decide it was time to go?
A: I have very strong faith and I believe my time came to an end. My thinking was, towards the end of last year and the beginning of this year, that five years was probably the right time. I have been able to put in place the very personal policing that we want. We have dealt with a very real resurgent terrorist threat to devolution. In the weeks since I took over it was bomb after bomb.
Q: Did our politicians inflame that public order situation?
A: I am measured in what I say because I am the police chief not a politician. I didn't think they were unequivocal in condemning violence and they should have been right behind the Parades Commission irrespective of the determination.
Q: Do you feel you could have had more support from our politicians?
A: I think so.
Q: When you first arrived here were you expecting to have to deal with all of this?
A: No. I had no real perception of how quickly the dissidents were on the front foot in terms of that upsurge and how deeply challenging that was to the peace process.
The bit that was unexpected was the upsurge in terrorism - trying to blow up the Policing Board, trying to blow up (Palace) Barracks, mortars, close quarter shoots, assassinations, 174 terrorist attacks in 2010.
Q: Is Northern Ireland one of the most challenging places you have worked?
A: Definitely. Because of the terrorism and the public order problems and the sectarian issues that still remain.
Q: So what now for Matt Baggott?
A: I'm going to have a break, dig the garden, do some fishing, just be normal for a while. I was very motivated when I went to Rome for a few days and I have decided to become a Catholic after watching this loyalist lot here.