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Alliance Party pledges clampdown on scourge of terrorism and sectarianism

By Noel McAdam

Published 20/04/2016

Stephen Farry
Stephen Farry

Alliance has called for an ongoing assessment of paramilitary activity and new strategies to tackle it.

The party also wants a new protocol on how government departments and agencies engage with paramilitary leaders on the ground.

Executive minister Stephen Farry said it should be fashioned to help break down paramilitaries rather than inadvertently reinforcing them "and building up the so-called authority of the de facto gatekeepers in certain communities".

The party also wants the Assembly parties to combine in a bid to eradicate paramilitarism within a decade.

And it wants the next Executive to introduce changes in how certain economic activities are regulated in a bid to tackle racketeering and the extortion of businesses that funds organised crime. Alliance also called for zero tolerance on wall murals and flags which support armed groups, and said it would pursue a commitment by the next Executive to tackle all paramilitary and organised crime.

The party also said it would work towards the better regulation and enforcement of the law surrounding paramilitary flags, murals and bonfires.

Mr Farry, who has been touted as the next justice minister, said: "There are real ongoing issues of social control, of far too many communities under the jackboot of the paramilitaries.

"Eighteen years on from Good Friday, people have the right to expect this is long gone from our society and that we have a society based upon the rule of law and that there is no impunity in terms of how the state interacts at a grassroots level with this."

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