Police chief in parades deal plea
Northern Ireland's police chief has called for intensified efforts to find a lasting solution to summer parading disputes.
George Hamilton urged politicians, civic leaders and communities to do "all in their power" to find a way to deal with contentious marches.
Mr Hamilton made the call as the Protestant loyal order parading season starts to get into full swing ahead of its biggest day in the calendar, July 12.
Political efforts to find a new way to adjudicate on disputed parades have so far come to nothing.
The most volatile dispute focuses on the Ardoyne/Woodvale community interface in north Belfast.
The Parades Commission adjudication body has prevented Orangemen from parading past the nationalist Ardoyne neighbourhood at the conclusion of the "Twelfth of July" demonstrations for the last two years.
While there was no trouble last summer when police halted the parade from proceeding further than Twaddell Avenue in the adjacent unionist Woodvale area, in 2013 loyalists rioted for a number of successive nights after the procession was stopped.
In previous years, republicans engaged in serious disorder in Ardoyne when the Parades Commission permitted the Orangemen to complete their return journey along the Crumlin Road past the area.
Loyalists have manned a protest camp close to the Ardoyne/Twaddell Avenue interface since July 2013.
The total cost of policing the camp is in excess of £16 million. Dissident republicans have launched a number of attacks on officers patrolling the area as part of the policing operation.
Addressing members of the PSNI's oversight body, the NI Policing Board, Mr Hamilton said he knew police had a key role to play in ensuring a peaceful parading season.
"We know that community confidence is impacted by how we conduct our policing operations, as well as the style and tone of our language when discussing issues which affect those communities," he said.
"We know that we do not always get it right, but we are listening to communities and where possible we adapt our policing approach and our language.
"2014 was one of the most peaceful marching seasons for several years, made possible by responsible leadership from a range of people in a position to bring positive influence.
"The last 14 months have demonstrated that protest activity can be both peaceful and lawful. It is important however, that participants and protesters understand and act according to all aspects of the law.
"Looking towards the future, we need politicians, civic leadership and communities to do all in their power to resolve the parading issue. The cost of the current stalemate is more than financial. At Ardoyne we have seen how violent dissident republicans have sought to exploit the on-going protest situation for their own ends by launching five attacks on police over the last year. They have also shown total disregard for the wider community who could just as easily have been caught up in their attacks.
"This is not a situation our society should continue to tolerate. Efforts must continue to resolve this issue."