Security officials are developing a new strategy to deal with the heightened terror threat from republican dissidents.
Prime Minister David Cameron told MPs the Government will give the increased activity its “highest attention” as he unveiled the Strategic Defence and Security Review.
That means working with the Irish government to defeat terror groups in Northern Ireland and publication of any changes to the security threat level — currently set at severe — they pose to “encourage vigilance”.
Mr Cameron told the Commons: “The last government made a number of commitments about policing and justice and the funding that required. We will continue with those.
“We have had a discussion in the National Security Council about these issues and how we best tackle the threat from dissident republicans and I give my word that we will continue to give it our highest attention.”
It follows publication on Monday of the strategic element of the review which classified dissident republicans as one of the top threats to UK security.
Over the last nine months there have been 37 attacks, up from 22 in the whole of 2009, and experts warned those involved are resilient and hell-bent on destabilising the Stormont executive.
In the full SDSR the government expands on that further by pledging: “Alongside our objective for wider social, economic and political progress in Northern Ireland we will pursue and develop a strategy to tackle the threat from terrorism.
“We will work with the devolved administration and the Irish government to defeat the terrorists who threaten stability and prosperity.”
Jeffrey Donaldson, the DUP's Lagan Valley MP, who quizzed the Prime Minister in the Commons on the impact of the report on Northern Ireland, said: “Locally there are very many people who serve with the Royal Irish Regiment or in the reserve forces.
“I am glad that the Prime Minister was able to assure me that the strategic defence review would not impact upon infantry regiments such as the Royal Irish and that the greater use of reserve forces will be reviewed as part of the programme.”