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‘Cost of contentious parades unsustainable’ - Anderson

15 October, 2009 - by Maeve McLaughlin

Sinn Féin Policing Board Member, Martina Anderson MLA (Foyle) has said that the cost of contentious parades are clearly unsustainable and the organisers of such events should be required to take out public liability insurance.

Martina Anderson was speaking after it emerged that similar steps had been taken in Scotland due to the spiralling costs of policing Orange parades there.

Ms Anderson said:

“The Board’s human rights committee met with the Parades Commission yesterday (Wednesday) and were briefed on the cost implications of parades here.

“The cost of nearly 2400 parades in the North between June and August of this year is estimated to be almost £3 million.

“However, only 79 of these parades were considered contentious and the PSNI informed us that if these marches were taken out of the equation the cost of policing parades could be reduced by 75%.

“Clearly, in a time of economic restraint and limited resources, such costs cannot be sustained or justified and I be believe we should be following the Scottish example where the organisers of contentious parades are required to take out public liability insurance if they wish to march.

“This came about after it emerged that Orange parades and associated disorder cost the Strathclyde Police £1.7m last year.

“I believe the organisers of the small number of contentious parades remaining in the North should be required to pick up the tab for the policing costs they incur. Requiring them to take out insurance is one way of doing so although I suspect that many of these parades would be uninsurable given their history of disorder.”

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