Independent Report on Marches, Parades and Static Demonstrations in Scotland

Independent advice prepared by Dr Michael Rosie on marches, parades and static demonstrations in Scotland.

Section 4: Conclusion

4.1 It should be emphasised that the recommendations of this scoping exercise speak to an important fact of all marches and parades in Scotland, including those organised by the Loyal Orders and by Irish Republican organisations. That fact is that such marches and parades are generally characterised by the professional approach taken by the three key parties involved (the parading organisation, the local authority, and Police Scotland). The vast majority of these marches and parades are well-organised, have undergone tried and tested processes of notification and negotiation, and pass off in a peaceful and orderly fashion. Most recommendations, therefore, have the ambition to fine tune a system that, by and large, works very well indeed.

4.2 There are however, important recommendations relating to the current ambiguity and uncertainty relating to Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders ( TTROs). This uncertainty is corrosive of the good relations and trust built up between parading organisations, local authorities and Police Scotland - but also has implications for all marches and parades. Good relations and trust - built through dialogue and through good experiences and fulfilled promises (from all sides) on the ground - is essential to the continued positive experiences around marches and parades in Scotland. It is also essential to the long term reduction of public anxiety and concern around marches and parades.

4.3 Finally, one concern of public agencies in Scotland has long been that there are "too many" marches and parades in Scotland, and a reduction in their number would necessarily reduce the burden on local authority and police resources, and reduce the impact and inconvenience experienced by local communities. If there is to be a long term reduction in the number of marches and parades, then this will be achieved through good relations and continued dialogue. It is to those issues that I would most direct the attention of the Scottish Government.


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