§ Mr. Biggs-Davison
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many murders and attempted murders, respectively, are under police investigation; what is the strength of the Criminal Investigation Department in the Royal Ulster Constabulary and its Assassination Squad, respectively; what is the Government's policy regarding reinforcement from police forces in Great Britain; and how CID strength compares with authorised establishment.
§ Mr. Mason
Of the 752 murders committed in Northern Ireland since 1st January 1974, 559 are still under investigation. The number of offences being investigated as attempted murder could not be provided without disproportionate effort.
The current strength of the RUC Criminal Investigation Department is 566; There is no authorised establishment for individual departments, and personnel are allocated to particular branches by the Chief Constable having regard to manpower availability and the demands on police resources.
The functions of the A Squad, which was formed in 1975 to combat assassinations, are now undertaken by the Headquarters Crime Squad and the recently formed regional crime squads.
A number of police officers from Great Britain have engaged for a period of service in the RUC under the provisions of Section 2 of the Police Act 1969, but a general reinforcement of the RUC from forces in Great Britain is not considered 371W necessary, given the strength of the Army in Northern Ireland.