PSNI 'intervene' in tsunami march

Police have said they "intervened" in a loyalist band parade in the Whitewell area of north Belfast.

They say a suspected breach of the Parades Commision's determination over the route occured.

The parade by the Whitewell Defenders Flute Band was held on Saturday afternoon in aid of the tsunami disaster appeal.

Chief Superintendent Mike Little said that files would be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

"The organisers of today's parade have been spoken to by police and evidence has been collected," he said.

In a determination on Wednesday the Parades Commission gave permission for the march to go ahead, but put limits on the route, citing sectarian tension and division in the area.

The Parades Commission was set up in 1997 to make decisions on whether controversial parades should be restricted.

Commission rulings restricting marches by the Protestant loyal orders, which are opposed by nationalist residents, have led to calls by unionist politicians for the body to be scrapped.

Last week it was announced that the commission was to be given greater powers to restrict the actions of people supporting or protesting against loyal order marches.

The new laws announced by Security Minister Ian Pearson will be in place for this year's marching season.

Clashes between nationalists protesters and loyalists following a parade in Ardoyne last July led to calls for the commission's powers to be strengthened.

The legislation will be in place by the end of March to apply from 14 May.

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