Written statement to Parliament

Third Annual Report on security matters in Northern Ireland: WMS by Owen Paterson MP

This speech was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Third Annual Report reviewing the operation of arrangements for handling national security matters in Northern Ireland.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Paterson MP, said:

The government has received and welcomed a report from Lord Carlile of Berriew on the operation of arrangements for handling national security matters in Northern Ireland for the year to date.

Lord Carlile commends the engagement he received in producing this report which recognises that the context in which National Security activities are performed in Northern Ireland is changing and challenging.

The report points out that there have been serious incidents during 2011, including the murder of P.C Ronan Kerr in Omagh in April and states that the overall picture is of a very dangerous, unpredictable terrorist threat. The situation is faced with additional challenges due to the many connections which terrorists appear to have with organised crime. Lord Carlile points out that organised crime is an area which helps fund their politically motivated activities.

Lord Carlile believes that, compared with last year, this year has seen more success in containing and stabilising the threat, and notes that there have been fewer incidents and fewer major attacks. He is also satisfied that there are no difficulties of any significance in the inter-operability between the PSNI and the Security Service and identifies this is a sound working partnership and one that is to be commended.

I welcome the content of this report and have made it available to the Home Secretary. Given its sensitive nature I do not however intend to place copies in the Library.