AN alleged drug peddler is tarred and feathered in a Belfast estate. Media commentators and local politicians are aghast and issue a plethora of condemnatory remarks. Few, however, ask why such an attack occurred.
Perhaps Belfast Assembly member Michael McGimpsey hit upon the core of the problem when he said: "If there is an accusation against an individual, then this should be dealt with by the police and the courts."
Perhaps the reality is that the police and the courts are just not dealing with the problem!
Law-abiding people, myself included, have learned through bitter experience that the police, for a variety of reasons, can do very little to protect them or indeed bring serial offenders to justice.
Our courts no longer offer effective deterrents. Beleaguered communities regularly see magistrates handing out lenient sentences for often serious offences.
While this situation remains, it is likely such acts of local community justice will continue.
T J McCleanBelfast