Alliance responds to IMC security report: Ford

Alliance Party Leader, David Ford, has welcomed to the publication of the Independent Monitoring Commission’s Report on Security Normalisation but stressed the need for future security decisions to be made on the basis of ‘an objective threat assessment’ rather than political considerations.

David Ford stated:

“It is clear from the IMC’s latest report that substantial movement on security normalisation has occurred. This is to be welcome. Everyone must surely share the goal of a normal society, with a policing posture similar to most other European states. But it is also clear that we are still a considerable way short of the conditions that would allow this objective, and that accordingly there is a need to retain certain enhanced security measures.

“Security decisions should always be based upon an objective threat assessment, rather than any political considerations.

“Nothing should be run down simply to meet an arbitrary political agenda, or as chips to be traded around a negotiating table. Equally, it should be recognised that both the level and the nature of the security threat have changed. Therefore, outdated methods and surplus installations should not be defended merely for the sake of resisting change, especially if those resources can be better invested in confronting new challenges. As the IMC Report rightly identifies, security problems can now arise in unexpected places and circumstances, so flexibility is therefore important.

“Movement of normalisation is necessarily linked to the activities of the paramilitaries. Sadly, the other IMC report noted that all paramilitary organisations, both Loyalist and Republican, continue to engage in a wide range of activities. In particular, there remains a substantial terrorist threat from dissident Republicans which must be at the forefront of future considerations.”

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