'Time the Twaddell camp went away' - Ford

'Time the Twaddell camp went away' - Ford

Justice Minister David Ford has called for an end to a loyalist protest in north Belfast as he revealed the cost of policing the Twaddell camp has reached £9m.

Speaking in the assembly on Monday, Mr Ford said the bill caused him "significant concern" when the Police Service of Northern Ireland's resources were already being stretched.The demonstration on the Woodvale Road has been ongoing since last July when the Parades Commission banned Orangemen and bands from walking past the Ardoyne area on their return Twelfth of July route.Mr Ford previously revealed the cost of policing the Twaddell protest had reached £5.45m by the end of December last year.He told MLAs on Monday that about a third of the £9m figure represented the "opportunity cost" of being unable to divert police resources elsewhere and that as a consequence fewer arrests had been made in relation to crimes across the region."It certainly is something that causes me significant concern that an issue which should not be continuing to cost should cost such a huge amount of money at a time of decreasing resources and we have significant pressures on the police and indeed on other parts of the justice system," Mr Ford said.It really is time that the Twaddell camp went away and people accepted the determination of the Parades Commission and ceased putting pressure on the police service and allowed them to do the job they should be doing for every part of Northern Ireland.Justice Minister David FordThe Alliance leader revealed the latest figure after a question from Sinn Féin MLA Bronwyn McGahan.SDLP MLA Alban Maginness said the money could have been spent rejuvenating the Ardoyne and Woodvale communities."Such a monumental waste of money could easily be set aside if people were to sit down on a neighbourly basis and talk neighbour to neighbour in order to settle this contentious parading dispute," he said.Mr Ford agreed and highlighted the loyal orders and nationalist residents in Londonderry as an example of where good relations were working.No unionist MLAs commented during the assembly questions on the Twaddell costs.


Elsewhere on the Web

More Top Stories

UTV Digest

Your daily digest of the most popular UTV Stories

Back to Top

From Monday 6th June the UTV news service will be moving to ITV.com.

To keep up to date with all the latest stories from UTV:

- go to the ITV News website at itv.com/utv

- download the ITV News app on iOS

- download the ITV News app on Android

For more information please go to our FAQs page