Military Complaints Procedures (Independent Assessor)

Defence written question – answered on 19th January 2006.

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Photo of Eddie McGrady Eddie McGrady Social Democratic and Labour Party, South Down

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 10 October 2005, Official Report, column 12–13W, on the Independent Assessor of Military Complaints procedures, on what basis he made his decision that aspects other than thoseinvolving the policing of the 11 and 12 July 2004 North Belfast parades had been examined in sufficient detail.

Photo of Adam Ingram Adam Ingram Minister of State (Armed Forces), Ministry of Defence

As indicated in my answer of 10 October 2005, Hansard, column 12–13W the policing of the North Belfast parades was examined in considerable detail by Keir Starmer QC and Jane Gordon in their special report for the Policing Board published in November 2004. Although this report did concentrate on the policing aspects of the parades, it also included consideration of the Army's support to the PSNI.

In light of this report, the relevant arrangements were fully reviewed internally following the 2004 marching season by the PSNI and Army, and a comprehensive and progressive training programme was initiated to exercise and develop these arrangements prior to marching season 2005. We are satisfied with the arrangements in place for joint operations with the PSNI and believe that they properly and fully address the concerns raised in the report.

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