Belfast Telegraph

Keep your whistle dry this Twelfth, PSNI warn public

A robust approach to underage and street drinking will be taken at this summer’s Orange men’s and Apprentice boys parades, the Police Service Northern Ireland have said.

The PSNI will again be working with parade organisers and partner agencies to curb the misuse of alcohol of roadside spectators to the annual parading events throughout the summer.

Chief Superintendent Alan McCrum, district commander for south and east Belfast said that police and its partners hoped to build on the success of last year.

He said: “Whilst officers will be taking a robust approach to drinking at public events, we can only police the symptoms — it is crucial that everyone continues to work together to address the root causes.

“That isn't going to happen overnight. It will take the commitment of everyone over a longer period of time, and requires education, encouragement and enforcement.

“The vast majority of events pass off peacefully, but when drink becomes involved there is potential for trouble and disorder.

“Over the past number of years, we worked very closely with the Orange Order and other parade organisers and partners to tackle the problem of drinking at public events. Last year on July 12 and 13 we made 249 seizures across Northern Ireland netting 4,771 items of alcohol.

“This year we will again be working to ensure that everyone, whether they are attending parades or not, can enjoy their activities safely and peacefully.

“The police, parade organisers and other partners will be handing out leaflets prior to public events encouraging people not to drink either on a parade route or on the street, and informing them that it is illegal to do so.”

Chief Superintendent McCrum added: “We want people to have a good day out, but to do it responsibly. It will only be a success if people make it a success.”

Drew Nelson, Grand Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, said: “The abuse of alcohol is an increasing problem for society throughout the British Isles and Northern Ireland is no exception from that general trend.

“The Orange Institution does not wish to see alcohol abused in any way at any of our events or parades over the summer period.

“We are therefore appealing to our members and supporters to refrain from consuming alcohol at our events and in all circumstances obey the relevant laws and byelaws.

“The misuse of alcohol can put people off attending our parades and we will be co-operating with the PSNI to ensure all our parades and events pass off peacefully and can by enjoyed by everyone.”

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