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Royal Ulster Constabulary

Volume 128: debated on Wednesday 2 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to his answer of 17 February, Official Report, column 675, if he will institute a review of the command structure of Royal Ulster Constabulary headquarters mobile support units with a view to assessing the adequacy of the accountability systems operating within them; and if he will make a statement.

These matters fall within the operational responsibility of the Chief Constable, but, as my right hon. Friend made clear in his statement on 17 February, he has accepted in principle all the recommendations of the McLachlan report, including those designed to ensure the highest standard in the selection of training of members of the special branch; the prevention of overspecialisation; the encouragement of cross-posting both within the RUC and with other police forces; and the further integration of the branch with the other parts of the force.In addition, as my right hon. Friend said, Mr. McLachlan stresses that the regional assistant chief constables are now aware of the operations of the special branch within their respective areas, and re-emphasises the importance of their continuing to monitor them.