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Massive waste on parades must end - Anderson

14 December, 2010 - by Maeve McLaughlin

A resolution strategy for the issue of contentious parades is needed to end the massive waste of police resources, Sinn Féin Policing board member, Martina Anderson has insisted.

Ms. Anderson was speaking as the Board’s Human Rights and Professional Standards Committee prepares to meet Justice Minister David Forde on Tuesday to discuss the issue of contentious parades.

“The cost of policing parades here was £3,679,000 between April and July. Over £2 million of this was incurred in a four day period around the 12th of July,” she commented. “A total of 2114 officers were also deployed to police parades on 12 and 13 July 2010.

“Clearly, we cannot sustain that kind of massive waste particularly in the current economic climate and I am sure the public - who are demanding effective policing - will be appalled at the level of resources which are being spent on contentious parades. Surely those officers would be much better spent engaged in providing the kind of community policing which the public demands. It is no longer acceptable for working class communities to be deprived of an essential policing service as resources are diverted to 'policing' contention.

“What is needed now is a long-term resolution strategy on the issue of contentious parades.

“To achieve that, we need a genuine coming together of representatives from the loyal orders and the community alongside other key stakeholders to identify resolutions to the small number of contentious parades still in existence. The core issue lies in addressing competing rights of those who wish to parade and those who live, work and carry out business in areas through which they seek to parade".

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