Belfast Telegraph

'More than 100' acts of violence in one north Belfast community

By Claire Williamson

More than 100 incidents between "conflicting factions" of a community in north Belfast have been reported to police in the past year.

They included attempted murder, assaults, intimidation, harassment, numerous threats to kill, grievous bodily harm and arson.

Since February 14, 2013 police say they have responded to more than 100 incidents between "conflicting factions" of the same community in the area.

Chief Inspector Robert Singleton said there was a need for a "very visible police presence" within the area to keep people safe.

He said: "Given the serious nature of the incidents that we are responding to and the risk to life that these pose, we have no option but to put a very visible police presence into this area.

"If you consider that on August 11, 2014, a property in the Westland Way area had shots fired at the front door and then on August 20, 2014 a male was shot in the thigh in the Wallasey Park area.

"These are incidents that could have resulted in fatalities."

Chief Inspector Singleton said incidents involving intimidation and harassment generated a level of fear which meant victims were "unwilling to give statements in relation to police".

He said: "This does not in any way diminish the responsibility that we have to protect life. In seeking to tackle criminality we will use a range of police tactics.

"Conducting vehicle checkpoints are just one of the ways in which we can seek to disrupt criminality and keep people safe."

Chief Inspector Singleton said a number of families had moved out of areas as a "direct result of tensions".

If anyone has any concerns of community safety they should contact police on 101, in the case of an emergency on 999 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800555111.

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