Belfast Telegraph

Policing marches costing too much

The chairman of the Parades Commission has said that the cost of policing contentious marches here is unsustainable.

In his post-summer statement, Peter Osborne also said the commission would not be needed to make decisions if early agreement could be reached at a local level.

“Spending upwards of £7m over the course of a year on policing parades and related protests is unsustainable,” he said.

“Obviously, public order must be maintained and the rights to parade and protest must be protected, but as a society we can't ignore the financial, economic and social costs associated with parading disputes.”

Mr Osborne said the Parades Commission had listened carefully to local politicians and others outline their intention to engage in processes and quiet conversations aimed at delivering progress.

“Ideally, if local accommodations were reached the commission would not be required to make determinations during next year's marching season. That is an ambitious target, but the building blocks are already in place.”

Belfast Telegraph

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