DCSIMG

Order slams news of just one conviction despite 24 attacks on Orange property

The Union would be the poorer if Scotland were to leave the Union and Scotland would be the poorer, a leading Orangeman has said.

The Union would be the poorer if Scotland were to leave the Union and Scotland would be the poorer, a leading Orangeman has said.

Figures revealing that only one person has been convicted for attacks on Orange Order property in the past year have been described as “deeply disturbing”.

There were 24 such incidents last year, including an arson attack on Whiterock Orange Hall in west Belfast, and the destruction of a war memorial inside the grounds of Killowen Orange Hall, Coleraine.

Two arrests were made over that 12-month period, and one person was convicted, figures received by the Orange Standard after a Freedom of Information request showed.

The number of attacks has fallen from almost one a week in 2010 to one every 15 days in 2013.

Grand Master Edward Stevenson called on the police to “rectify this poor detection rate as a matter of urgency”.

“Another year, but it is depressingly the same old story in terms of the ongoing and deliberate targeting of Orange halls and property.

“Those responsible for such hate crimes must face the full rigours of the law.

“With this in mind, it is deeply disturbing that only one person was convicted in 2013 in relation to such criminality.

“The onus is now on the Chief Constable and the PSNI to rectify this poor detection rate as a matter of urgency, and by doing so send an unambiguous message to the perpetrators that they will be apprehended for their wicked deeds.”

The PSNI has confirmed halls were targeted in the following policing areas last year – Antrim; Armagh; North Belfast; West Belfast; Ballymoney; Coleraine; Cookstown; Dungannon and South Tyrone; Fermanagh; Foyle; Larne; Magherafelt; Moyle and Newry and Mourne.

So far in 2014 there have been three attacks on Orange property.

 

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