The Sinn Fein president, Gerry Adams, has said the IRA has left the stage and will not be returning to deal with crime in west Belfast - as some of his constituents are demanding.
He was speaking after three murders in the area over the last six months and as he prepared to meet Paul Goggins, the British minister responsible for policing today.
"I heard some people say that they want the IRA back to deal with anti-social behaviour and criminality.
"Well, let's get real. That's not going to happen. The IRA made its position very clear when it instructed its volunteers to assist the development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means.
Mr Adams said he was well aware of the anger in his constituency over anti-social and criminal activity which, given the decades of conflict, was understandable.
IRA activists were now working to make the police accountable and effective he added.
On Tuesday, Mr Adams said: "Of course, no police service is perfect. And constructing a police service, which reaches the high standards we have set, is difficult given the legacy of bad state policing under unionist and then British control.
"But we knew that. It is a big job of work. But already republican efforts have achieved significant changes and improvements."