"This Brave and Resolute Stand"
Serving in the RUC
Quotation taken from HM The Queen's speech at the presentation of the George Cross to the Royal Ulster Constabulary, April 12 2000.
A HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ULSTER CONSTABULARY GC
- The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) was established on 1 June 1922, after the partition of Ireland. The nucleus of the Force was former members of the Royal Irish Constabulary that had been disbanded at partition.
- Due to political agitation and violence the RUC had a dual security and civil policing role. It was therefore armed. As a result of civil disturbances in 1968/1969, the Force was overstretched and the Army was called in to assist.
- The Hunt Report in 1970 made changes to policing in Northern Ireland; including new controls and rank structures, transfer of security to the Army and creation of the RUC Reserve. During the 1970s and 1980s the Force increased in size from 3000 to 11,691 officers.
- In the mid 1970s, the responsibility for security moved back to the Police, with Army support. The RUC also developed specialist units to deal with serious crime, public disorder, terrorism and community relations.
- 312 members of the RUC were killed in terrorist attacks (302 of them during the period 1969 - 1998, representing 9% of total deaths due to 'The Troubles' in Northern Ireland). Over 10,000 officers were injured, some 300 being severely disabled. Deaths and injuries led to unique Force welfare support systems.
- RUC officers received 370 individual Gallantry Awards. 712 members received Sovereign's Awards for Distinguished Service. 1183 families were forced to move house under threat.
- In 1999, the RUC was awarded the George Cross in recognition of the collective and sustained bravery of the Force, including its families. It then became the Royal Ulster Constabulary George Cross.
- The 'Patten Report' of 1999 recommended major changes to policing in Northern Ireland, including a change of the operational title to the 'Police Service of Northern Ireland'. This change took place on 4 November 2001.