Queensland solution way to deal with thugs
As a former NI resident (and now a tourist), I can sympathise with the problems with the paramilitaries and lack of information from the public due to fear.
In Queensland, Australia, we had similar problems with the bikie gangs fighting for control of areas for their drugs and other crimes.
A new premier took over the state a couple of years ago with the promise of cleaning up these gangs and enacted laws to hit the bikies without getting the public involved - jail terms for bikies were handed down if they were caught meeting with more than three members at a time in pubs, clubs or on the roads, which they would take over in their hundreds.
They started by stopping them on the roads and thoroughly examining their bikes, which took hours, fining them for any faults and ruining their day's outing.
They raided their club premises for contraband and sold off assets if they could not prove where the money came from to buy them.
Within a couple of years there were no bikies to be seen strutting around in pubs or clubs. As the public were not involved, they gained more confidence and the phones started ringing with information.
Now, they have moved to other states and now their police are looking at changing their laws.
All that is required is someone with the guts to do something about it.