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Sensible to use new portable peace wall at parade flashpoints: chief constable

Pacemaker  Belfast 01/07/2014 East Belfast Mini Twelfth  The Somme Commemoration Parade also known as The East Belfast Mini Twelfth parade taking place on the Albertbridge Road with a total of 37 bands took part in the parade, organised by the Ballymacarrett District lodge No 6. Picture By: Aidan OReilly Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker Belfast 01/07/2014 East Belfast Mini Twelfth The Somme Commemoration Parade also known as The East Belfast Mini Twelfth parade taking place on the Albertbridge Road with a total of 37 bands took part in the parade, organised by the Ballymacarrett District lodge No 6. Picture By: Aidan OReilly Pacemaker Press

A mobile steel wall used last week to separate an Orange parade from residents of the Short Strand could be used at other parade flashpoints, the chief constable has said.

George Hamilton said that he thought the eight-feet high portable peace wall device, which was first used at the G8, could be useful in policing some contentious parades.

“We need to be careful to deploy it appropriately,” he told the News Letter.

“We don’t need community permission to deploy it but certainly the success of the use of it in Short Strand/lower Newtownards Road was done with the agreement and concurrence of both communities.”

He admitted that at a time when there are moves to eradicate peace walls it may seem like “going back in time”, but said that if it was done to keep people safe and had community support the barrier would be “a sensible thing to do”.

“It will be used but it’s not a case of every parade at an interface is going to have this now – it will be a case by case basis and it will be done, where possible ... in very close consultation with parade organisers or protest organisers.”

 

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