Tuesday 24 April 2018 06:07:59 AM

Shannon Calls For More Police Support For Band Parades
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Commenting on a recent Orange band parade in Newtownards centred around the Square in the town, Westminster election candidate Jim Shannon said: “I am aware that there was some trouble in the Newtownards Square after a small band parade.

Mr Shannon said: “When I served as a councillor in Ards some time ago, the council ran a scheme to train local community representatives to work in the band parades to help the PSNI and council.

“This has worked to such a great extent that for smaller parades such as the one last week there were no PSNI available when things got out of hand and there were crowds of youths reported to be upwards of 500 in number and the PSNI couldn’t be in attendance in the numbers that are needed.

“This scheme is very effective but does not take away from the need for the PSNI to have an availability on the ground when needed.

“On this occasion the PSNI called in numerous community representatives who sought to bring a calming influence, but certainly things were touch and go and I will be contacting the PSNI Chief Constable to query the availability of PSNI officers for these parades and the ability to call for back up when necessary.”