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Military Patrols

Volume 113: debated on Wednesday 25 March 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement about the accompaniment of military patrols by Royal Ulster Constabulary officers.

Technical Co-operation and Training Programme (ODA)
1981–821982–831983–841984–851985–86
CountryExpenditure £AwardsExpenditure £AwardsExpenditure £AwardsExpenditure £AwardsExpenditure £Awards
Central America
Belize102,3003493,1003077,5971893,50019131,80018
Costa Rica132,50035141,20030121,05932149,40026161,10028
El Salvador17,60071,7001
Guatemala4,6002
Honduras18,600625,600656,4581031,600865,80014
Mexico576,300131470,200105397,20792299,00067502,90074
Nicaragua18,300317,416320,2003
Panama60,3001448,8001138,3991051,200962,70014
Total Central America912,200229798,900186708,136165644,900132924,300148

It has been for some years the policy of the Chief Constable, which I fully endorse, that wherever resources and circumstances permit, military patrols which are likely to come into contact with the public should be accompanied by RUC officers. This is a reflection of the policy established in 1976 and subsequently reinforced that the police are in the lead in the fight against terrorism, with the Army providing the essential military support.I understand from the Chief Constable that in applying this policy his operational commanders take into account the function of the military patrol, the area in which it will operate, and the availability of police resources. Priority is therefore given to areas which the local commander knows to be sensitive, where contact with the public is particularly likely, and where a police presence is likely to be particularly helpful in preventing crime and enforcing the law.I know that it is the Chief Constable's aim to develop and extend the policy wherever circumstances and resources allow.