Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

4,000 officers for Twelfth parades

Disturbances in Ardoyne as a fourth night of rioting took place in north Belfast July 2010

A total of 4,000 officers will be involved in a major security operation around Friday's traditional Twelfth of July commemorations in Northern Ireland as Orangemen pledged to protest over the banning of a controversial parade.

The Orange Order is planning to mount a series of protests to show its opposition to the decision banning the parade past a sectarian flashpoint in north Belfast.

Orangemen claim the Parades Commission has created a crisis with its determination preventing the annual march in Ardoyne.

Among officers deployed throughout the region will be 630 mutual aid officers from 22 constabularies elsewhere in the UK.

Outlining the Police Service of Northern Ireland's strategy for the day, Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr appealed for responsible leadership and warned anyone perceived to be inciting trouble would have to face the consequences.

"Tomorrow is going to be a big day. There will be thousands of people on the streets. We want them to enjoy their day and want to police it in a way that allows them to enjoy it," he said.

"The principal aim of the policing operation is public safety. People have a responsibility not to encourage, incite or say anything that makes that less likely.

"There are criminal responsibilities not to incite anything that makes them criminally culpable."

Mr Kerr insisted the PSNI had enough resources to uphold the Parades Commission determination.

Major security operations will be mounted at a number of locations across Belfast including Ardoyne, the Short Strand and Broadway, which have all seen major disturbances in recent years.

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