Northern Ireland's £5.7m cost of marching season
Friday 14 October 2011
Unionist and republican politicians have clashed after it was revealed £5.7 million was spent on policing the marching season.
Figures on parades released by the Policing Board showed nearly half the police service, 3,134 officers, were on duty at the height of the marching season on July 12.
The costs of the policing operations showed £5.2 million was spent on security around loyalist marches during the summer, while £255,000 was spent around republican parades.
The DUP blamed the cost on nationalist resident groups opposing marches by organisations such as the Orange Order and Apprentice Boys.
But Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly said the costs should be blamed on the Orange Order, which rejected legislation framed to deal with the relatively small number of contentious parades.
DUP Policing Board spokesman Robin Newton said: "With the ongoing efforts by police to thwart dissident republican terrorists it is vital that the very best use is made of scarce resources within the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland).
"The vast majority of parades in Northern Ireland take place without any controversy and indeed 30% of parades can take place with no PSNI support.
"It is deeply unfortunate however that cultural intolerance displayed through the opposition to some other parades imposes such a huge cost on the public purse."
Mr Kelly said: "Dialogue is the simple solution to what is basically just a small number of parades out of over 3,000 that take place each year yet the only group who have not stepped up to the mark are the the Orange Order.
"With almost 70% of parades being from the loyal orders there is an onus for them to resolve those with which there are difficulties.
"The agreement over the future of parading reached last year at the Executive produced a legislative way forward, however, yet again, the Orange Order blocked its acceptance.
"Since the start of the peace process the Orange Order has failed to play a positive and constructive role in moving our society forward and showing leadership. This policing bill cannot be distanced from that failure."
He added: "If everyone sits down round the table on an equal basis then these few contentious parades can be resolved if there is a will there to do it."
Chairman of the board's Human Rights and Professional Standards Committee Conall McDevitt said: "Whilst policing costs are broadly similar to those of previous years these figures are still shocking. Given current pressures on the policing budget and the public purse I have no doubt the wider community will share the concerns of board members on this issue."
- 1 Autistic adults could take pure MDMA to 'reduce social anxiety'
- 2 Stolen Instagram photo sells for $90,000
- 3 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 4 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
- 5 Paracetamol Challenge: Mother of girl killed by overdose pleads with teenagers not to take part
Iran launches anti-Isis cartoon competition 'to expose true nature of Islamic State'
'Don't blame all men for rape' campaign backfires spectacularly
Fifa corruption arrests: How Chuck Blazer rinsed money from the beautiful game
Fifa corruption live: Uefa to consider pulling teams from Fifa tournaments if Blatter stays
Ukip MP Douglas Carswell says he felt his safety was 'seriously at risk' after he was surrounded by anti-austerity protesters
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...
£30000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Estimating, preparation of tech...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will work as part of a smal...
£16000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The ideal candidate will want t...