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2nd Policing Global Cities Conference

The topic which we will discuss is one of the utmost importance to all countries – waging the war against terrorism, whilst ensuring that normal policing operates in so far as is possible for the benefit of all the people, both those from communities in which terrorists function, and those which may be almost untouched by bombs, shootings and all the connected criminality which accompanies terrorist activity.

When criminal and terrorist activity are simultaneously been part of the ordinary business of policing, many challenges follow from this, for the police and other security forces, for communities and for individuals. Policing must be delivered in a constantly changing situation. There will be police officers who police for the thirty years of their normal police career, without ever drawing their gun, apart from during training. There will be others whose careers are spent in places which are very dangerous.

I must first explain to you that in Northern Ireland the term paramilitary does not refer to an agency of the state as it does for example in the United States – it refers to those involved in unlawful armed activities for a political purpose.

Nominally in Northern Ireland we are at peace, but there is another story to be told. In the year ending 31 March, 2015, PSNI statistics demonstrate that there were 3 deaths due to the security situation, 94 shootings and assaults by paramilitaries of which 48 were by loyalists and 46 by republicans. There were 73 shooting incidents and 26 bombing incidents. 58 firearms were recovered, 22.94 kgs of explosives and 4,569 rounds of explosives were recovered. 227 people were arrested under the Terrorism Act and 35 people were charged. During 2013-2014 government statistics show that 18 people were convicted under the Terrorism legislation and 88 charges were made.

In England and Wales 230 people were arrested for terrorist offences (only 45 of them under the Terrorism Acts) compared to Northern Ireland’s 227. There is a much higher charging rate in England and Wales: 52% or 119 people were charged. 27 people were convicted of terrorism related offences compared with 18 in Northern Ireland. There are 58m people in...

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Ultimately, policing can only be effective with the consent of those who are policed

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