asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland why he has not consulted the Northern Ireland Police Federation about measures to enhance security in Northern Ireland; and what steps he is now taking to respond to the 13 point proposals on this and related matters made recently to his Department and the Chief Constable by the secretary of the federation.
[pursuant to his reply, 8 May 1987, c. 568]: I am in regular contact with the federation and am aware of its views on a wide range of issues, including security policy. As I explained in the House on 6 May, at column 810, there is a distinction between Ministers listening to the federation's views on general security policy matters and the federation seeking to involve Ministers in operational judgments and decisions. Concerns of an operational nature must properly be passed through the Royal Ulster Constabulary chain of command to the Chief Constable using the normal management and consultation structures that exist for that purpose.I have not received the document to which my hon. Friend referred; but I understand that the Chief Constable will be replying in due course to a letter about law and order issues which the federation's secretary sent to him on 24 April.