§ 6. Mr. Biggs-Davison
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he will make a statement on security and law and order.
§ Mr. Mason
The general level of violence over the last four months has been low in comparison with previous years, although members of the security forces remain particular targets for324W terrorist attack. 25 have been killed so far this year compared with 40 in the same period last year. Civilian deaths have also been reduced, but the irresponsible bombing of the Dublin to Belfast train on 12th October demonstrates the terrorists' continuing disregard for human life.
The downward trend in the statistics of violence nevertheless illustrates the progress which has been made and the diminishing support for the terrorist. The RUC continues to gain in strength and effectiveness, and it receives invaluable support from the Armed Forces. So far this year 714 persons have been charged with serious terrorist offences.