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Security

Volume 545: debated on Thursday 17 May 2012

The following is the answer given by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the right hon. Member for North Shropshire (Mr Paterson), to a question from the hon. Member for Gedling (Vernon Coaker) during Northern Ireland Question Time on 16 May 2012.

We know how much the security situation in Northern Ireland has improved—we are all thankful for that—but, as we have seen with the recent escalation in the number of attempted bombings and hoaxes, there remains a severe threat from those who wish to take us back to the past. Does the Secretary of State agree that the Army bomb disposal teams do tremendously courageous and vital work, and will he assure the House and the people of Northern Ireland that they will receive whatever resources they need to do their important job?

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his question and I also thank him, on the record, for his great support in our teamwork with the devolved Ministers in bearing down on criminals in Northern Ireland. Let me reassure him that support for the ATOs—ammunition technical officers—is very much a feature of the £200 million programme that we put together two years ago.

[Official Report, 16 May 2012, Vol. 545, c. 534.]

Letter of correction from Owen Paterson:

An error has been identified in the oral answer given on 16 May 2012. The response should have reflected the fact that the work of ammunition technical officers in Northern Ireland is funded directly through the Ministry of Defence.

The correct response should have been:

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his question and I also thank him, on the record, for his great support in our teamwork with the devolved Ministers in bearing down on criminals in Northern Ireland. Let me reassure him that support for the ATOs—ammunition technical officers—is very much a feature of our approach to tackling the threat in Northern Ireland.