Monday 28 September 2009

Marches 'straining' police budget

I see that the councillors who serve on the Strathclyde Police Authority will receive a report which will say that the force's budget is being stretched by having to police too many marches and parades and, specifically, that:
more than 1,000 events last financial year took nearly 50,000 police hours at a cost of £1.7m.
More than a third of this was spent on the main Orange parade in Glasgow.
The reports said a "disproportionate number of officers" were being deployed with "no means of cost recovery".

I like to help out where I can, there's a means of cost recovery easily found. After all, Strathclyde Police weren't slow in demanding extra money from football clubs for policing their events, why should the Orange Lodge be any different? Any organisation which is so proud of its history and which pledges to uphold the law but takes up so much of a police force's budget would be delighted to make a contribution in respect of that expense would it not? I wouldn't be surprised if the Orange Order was already formulating plans to offer a contribution to off-set the policing costs, especially given that they're opening swish new premises in Glasgow.

Of course, given that another report to be considered at the same time (also mentioned in the BBC story) tells of a catalogue of crimes committed during these marches this year, perhaps Glasgow's Code of Conduct for marches should be invoked? South Lanarkshire already says that consideration of whether to allow a march would include consideration of
whether the march (either alone or with other events would impose too great a burden on the police
North Lanarkshire has a more lax code of conduct but still has the same right to restrict parades as the other two councils. It would seem that costs could be curtailed as well as recovered - if there was a will to do so.


Anonymous said...

So whn we are asked in years to come how we ended sectarianism in Scotland we can now simply answer "we could no longer afford it".

Calum Cashley said...

I think sectarianism runs deeper and wider than just Orange marches. Ending it will take a lot of effort.