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DISSIDENTS THREATEN STABILITY IN THE NORTH

DISSIDENT REPUBLICANS Continue to threaten the stability of Northern Ireland with almost 60 bombing incidents in the last year according to figures released by the P.S.N.I.

The figure included the under-car bomb which claimed the life of Constable Ronan Kerr in Omagh in 2011. There were also 67 shooting incidents linked to Paramilitary groups, including 33 casualties from so-called punishment shootings, all carried out by dissident republician orgainisations.

Loyalist groups also continue to be active when it comes to vigilante justice with 31 Paramilitary-style assults carried out in the last 12 Months up to April. Arrests under the Terrorism Act decreased from 195 in 2010/11 to 159 during 2010/11. The number of people charged to appear in Court was just 39.

Drug offences meanwhile containued to rise with a 10 per cent increase on the previous year, the majority relating to seizures of Cannabis. There was also a dramatic increase in cases of domestic abuse, with over 25,000 reports of violence within the home to Police – the highest since the PSNI began keeping comprehensive records in 2004. It said the increase may be connected to a campaign to encorouge reports from victims.

Burglary and car crime were both down on the previous years, as were incidents of antisocal behaviour-bringing them to the lowest in 14 years. While crime was down overall by around 1.6 per cent, the clear-up rate-the number of cases either taken to court or disposed of by other means-fell by one per cent. ” I am pleased to report that crime is at its lowest level in 14 years, which is encouraging news, ” Cheif Constable Matt Baggott said. ” This should be seen alongside increasing levels of confidence in Policing. Togeather these show that Policing, with increasing support, is having an impact on a more postive future.”

Policing Board Chairman Brian Rea said: ” Detection rates have been subject of detailed discussion at the board over the last year. ” The figures published show some-improvement in a number of areas but in others the P.S.N.I. have not meet targets set. ” The board has recently expressed-major concern around the Police responce to punishment attacks and the need to improve clearance rates.” he said.

WITH MANY THANKS TO: ALLISON MORRIS( IRISH NEWS ).

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