Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


APPENDIX 19

Supplementary Memorandum submitted by the Royal Ulster Constabulary

PUBLIC PROCESSIONS (NORTHERN IRELAND) ACT 1998

  Your correspondence of 6th and 16th of March 2001 in relation to the above refers. I apologise for the delay in responding. However, I understand that Inspector Gordon Robinson (Parades Commission Liaison Officer) has been in contact with you in respect of these matters.

1.  Police Reaction to Breaches of the Act

  I regret that the statistical information which you requested in relation to the categorisation of the police response to breaches of the Act is not currently centrally recorded and would involve disproportionate costs to collate.

2.  Is it possible to update Appendix A to cover the full year

  This has been completed and the amended table is attached.

3.  Increase in the number of Illegal Parades

  We believe that this increase is largely a consequence of the Drumcree situation. Weekly "protest" parades have been running since the dispute arose and where these include a march from Drumcree Church to the police barrier, this will be classed as "illegal". Other "related" illegal parades have occurred throughout the Province, particularly at times of heightened tension. Additionally we suspect that increasing the period of notification required to 28 days (as per the Public Processions Act) will also have impacted on the rise in illegal parades. Statistics for loyalist illegal parades are commensurate with the levels of public disorder year on year.

  Given the lack of statistical information available and any meaningful research on this, I am unable to offer any other explanation.

4.  How do the Parades Commission and the RUC handle cases where a protest meeting has been notified in relation to a public procession

  While the Parades Commission may receive notification in respect of a "protest" meeting, they have no statutory powers to issue a determination or impose conditions on these. Tactical deployment of police in respect of any such protests is entirely a matter for the Chief Constable. The RUC will, however, advise the Commission in relation to events which take place during a parade or at any related protest. The Commission may then consider this information in respect of any future application for a parade at this location.

PROVISIONAL STATISTICS ON PARADES IN 2000

Parades 1.1.2000-31.12.2000
Loyalist
Nationalist
Other
Total
Total Parades
2,565
200
544
3,309
—Legal Parades
2,549
193
543
3,285
—Illegal Parades
16
7
1
24
Parades re-routed
70
4
74
Parades with other conditions imposed
38
1
39
Parades at which disorder occurred
5
1
6
Parades banned

28 March 2001


 
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