§ Mr. McNamara
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will collate and publish data from police authorities on(a) the number of towns in which St. Patrick's Day parades are held each year, (b) police estimates of the number of participants in parades of over 1,000 persons for each of the last 10 years and (c) the number of parades which raised public order concerns. 
§ Mr. McLeish
[holding answer 26 January 1999]: The police have no record of any St. Patrick's Day parades taking place in Scotland.269W
There have been no parades involving more than 1,000 people in the Dumfries and Galloway, Fife, Grampian or Northern police force areas. The information in respect of the remaining areas is as follows:Central Scotland: One annual parade, of greatly variable size.Lothian and Borders: One annual parade averaging 1,000 participants.Strathclyde: (Information is available for the last 3 years only).1996–21 parades averaging 2,700 participants1997–28 parades averaging 3,530 participants1998–23 parades averaging 5,100 participantsTayside: One parade in 1993 involving approximately 7,500 participants.
All large parades require to be effectively policed to ensure the safety of the participants involved and of the public. However, only the parade in Tayside gave rise to serious public order concerns.
From 1 July 1999 this will be a matter for the Scottish Parliament.