§ 57. Mr. Kilfedder
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement about the current security situation in Northern Ireland.135W
§ Mr. Merlyn Rees
I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) on 16th June. The monthly average number of shooting incidents during the first five months of 1975 is 137 as compared with 267 in 1974; the figure for explosions is now 26 as compared with 57; and that for fatalities is 17 as compared with 18.
Since the declaration of the PIRA cease-fire the nature of the violence in the Province has changed. PIRA involvement has been reduced.
Three members of the security forces on duty have been killed by terrorists, two policemen and a reserve policewoman.
The PIRA has admitted responsibility for the death of Constable Gray in Londonderry on 10th May. Responsibility for the other two deaths has not yet been established.
Since 10th February, 91 people have been killed in the Province; most of these were sectarian or interfactional murders.
There have been 628 shooting incidents, of which 496 did not involve security forces. During this time most of the violence has come from extremist groups who have not declared a cease-fire, together with individuals acting of their own volition.