East Derry MLA John Dallat has written to the PSNI Chief Constable asking why officers were “foraging out of lunch packs” on the side of the road during the Black Perceptory parade in Limavady last Saturday.

The SDLP assemblyman said the officers should have been able to eat in private.

“How embarrassing it must have been not to have the privilege of a break, a bit of privacy and the opportunity to get away from an event which should be taking place in a field where there would be no major disruption of everyday life and no need for cops to be vulcanised to one spot all day with their lunch packs,” he said.

In his letter to the Chief Constable, Mr. Dallat stated: “The role of the police in managing this and the other parades in Limavady is very important for many reasons and not least the need to ensure they are seen to be detached from the activities taking place. I was therefore, amazed to be told the officers on duty were consuming their packed lunches while standing at various points along the route.”

Mr. Dallat, who revealed he has written to the Parades Commission about the frequency of band parades in Limavady and the associated disruption, added: “This may be seen as a petty or trivial matter but the perception is the issue. There is a great deal of concern about the number of parades, the horrendous inconvenience they are to the public and the late hours they are taking place.”

No-one from the PSNI was available to comment.