Fury after threat to security firm staff G4S by dissident republicans
Northern Ireland's Justice Minister has condemned a threat by dissident republicans against staff from the security firm G4S.
The threat against staff from the world's biggest security firm followed a gun attack on an empty G4S vehicle in Belfast last week.
A group calling itself the IRA issued a threat against G4S staff who carry out the electronic tagging of offenders and suspects across Northern Ireland.
Describing the threat as unacceptable, David Ford called for it to be lifted immediately.
Mr Ford said: "Companies carrying out legitimate contracts for government help our society to function normally and their staff need to be able to carry out their work without the fear of threat.
"Electronic monitoring makes an important contribution to public safety and enables individuals who might otherwise be remanded in custody to remain with their families whilst the justice process takes its course. Threats of this nature help no one."
The threat against G4S staff was reported two days after the gun attack on the firm's vehicle in Oceanic Avenue in north Belfast last week.
A number of shots were fired into the empty car. Two windows were damaged but no one was hurt.
A 24-year-old man was arrested and questioned, but was released the following day pending further inquiries.
G4S said the firm was working closely with the PSNI and the Department of Justice.
"Our top priority is the safety and security of our employees who are carrying out their legitimate work which helps contribute to the justice process and public safety," a spokesman said.