HC Deb 26 October 1995 vol 264 c1137
7. Mr. Molyneaux

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the security situation in Northern Ireland. [36906]

Sir Patrick Mayhew

I shall continue to be advised by the Chief Constable on the security response warranted by a reduced but continuing threat of violence, and I shall act on that advice. Proscribed paramilitary organisations continue in active existence. Brutal beatings and arson attacks remain a cause of particular concern.

Mr. Molyneaux

As Her Majesty's inspectorate of constabulary concluded this week that the Royal Ulster Constabulary "is efficient and effective", will the Secretary of State assure us that resources will be made available to counter general serious crime, which can be expected to increase following the reduction in terrorist crime?

Sir Patrick Mayhew

I have always made it clear, as has my right hon. Friend the Minister of State, that appropriate resources must be made available to the RUC. As the right hon. Gentleman knows, a fundamental review is in progress and it is important that sufficient resources should be made available to counter non-terrorist crime, which, in some categories, is rising.

Mr. Wilkinson

Does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that, given the markedly improved security situation, it would be ironic, to say the least, if Queen's university air squadron, Belfast, the town headquarters of which were destroyed at the height of the troubles, should now be closed? In considering representations, will he bear in mind that it would be wrong for that university air squadron and the Air Experience Flight to be closed uniquely among such institutions in the country?

Sir Patrick Mayhew

I know my hon. Friend's association with the Royal Air Force and the regard in which those units are held, but this is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence, who must take some harsh decisions in difficult economic circumstances.