Former chief constable says HET should be retained

Dave Cox and Philip James of the HET The HET was set up to re-examine murders of the Troubles

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The former chief constable has said he believes the Historical Enquiries Team should be retained, despite proposed cuts of £1m a week to the PSNI budget.

Sir Hugh Orde is now the President of the Association of Chief Police Officers.

He said he believed the Historical Enquiries Team offered good value for money.

Sir Hugh was in Belfast on Friday to receive an honorary degree from the University of Ulster.

He said that it would "be a shame if it had to stop doing its business".

Sir Hugh said that if "one looks at the number of people dealt with by the HET, it is small money compared to other methods of resolution which are hugely expensive".

The specialist police team was set up in 2005 to re-examine 3,269 murders from the Troubles.

It was estimated that the team would need six years to complete the task. However, work has yet to begin on more than 1,300 cases.

In March, Northen Ireland chief constable Matt Baggott said he would be seeking extra resources from Stormont to enable the Historical Enquiries Team to progress its work.

Mr Baggott said he wanted to extend the life of HET in order to tackle the volume of cases.

He said: "My ambition is to keep it going for another three years because that's what victims want and are entitled to."

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