BATTLE OF THE BOYNE: Orange Order parade required 900 police officers

Annual Battle of the Boyne celebration reportedly saw about 7,500 marchers taking part on July 2

Police had to devote more than 900 officers to patrol a single Orange Order parade in Glasgow earlier this year, it has emerged.

Police Scotland assigned hundreds of officers during the Battle of the Boyne walks – at least one of which took place in West Dunbartonshire –  on July 2.

It is understood the force also had to pay for the cost of policing of the march.

The annual Protestant celebration reportedly saw about 7,500 marchers taking part to mark the anniversary of the 1690 Battle of the Boyne when King James was defeated by Prince William of Orange.

Officers accompanied marchers playing instruments and carrying banners and flags through the streets of the city and nearby towns..

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Policing notified processions is a statutory duty. Each procession is policed proportionately and appropriately.”

The staff numbers used to police the march were presented during a quarterly Greater Glasgow report from Chief Superintendent Mark Sutherland at a Safe Glasgow Partnership meeting last week.  The update covered the period July to September.

The Police Scotland report said: “There were 34 processions during the period, including the Annual Boyne Parade, which required a deployment of over 900 officers of varying ranks and specialisms.

“We further facilitated a Grand Black Chapter procession which required a significant policing deployment due to the number of participants and feeder parades.”

The report added: “Within this period one Loyalist and one Republican procession each required a Public Order structure to be put in place to safely manage counter protests, protecting the right to assembly while preserving order.

“We continue to focus on proportionately protecting the rights of individuals to assemble and protest, with the rights of our wider communities.”

Pictures by Bill Heaney

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