HC Deb 13 July 1978 vol 953 cc1718-9
10. Mr. Farr

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what consideration he is giving to the special protection of the occupants of both marked and unmarked police vehicles in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Dunn

I know that the protection of occupants of police vehicles from terrorist attack is very much in the minds of the Chief Constable and Police Authority. Steel-protected Land Rovers continue to come into service and protection is available for other vehicles as appropriate. The hon. Member will understand, however, that it would not be in the interests of security to go into details.

Mr. Farr

Can the hon. Gentleman assure the House that, so far as is possible, patrolling is of a haphazard nature and not to any conformed routine? Also, what consideration has been given to introducing new, very lightweight armoured-type materials, which have been pioneered very successfully for, for instance, the Chieftain tank in Britain?

Mr. Dunn

On the first question, I would not pretend to intervene on operational day-to-day requirements. They are a matter for the Chief Constable. On the second part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question, if the Chief Constable wishes such provision to be made and that equipment should be purchased manufactured from the materials that the hon. Gentleman brings to the attention of the House, we shall await his request.

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