Belfast Telegraph

Drop in Northern Ireland paramilitary shootings in past year

An advert in a TV campaign against paramilitary ‘justice'
An advert in a TV campaign against paramilitary ‘justice'

Paramilitary shootings in Northern Ireland have more than halved over the past year.

The figures were revealed as part of the Police Recorded Security Situation Statistics and published on Friday.

From February 1, 2018 to January 31, 2019 there were 13 causalities of paramilitary-style shootings, compared to 28 in the previous 12 months.

Of the shootings, 11 were carried out by republicans and all were 18 or over.

All but two of the shootings occurred in the Belfast or Derry council areas.

There were 36 shooting incidents overall compared to 57 in the previous year.

There was also a decrease in paramilitary style assaults over the same period, with 53 attacks compared to 71 in the previous year.

Most assaults occurred in Belfast, south Antrim and in parts of County Down and the attacks were much more likely to be carried out by loyalists.

Police launched a hard-hitting advertising campaign in October 2018 after 417 paramilitary attacks in a five year period.

The 'Ending The Harm' campaign works to highlight the devastating impact of paramilitary style attacks on victims, their families, local communities and wider society.

There were three security-related deaths - defined as related to terrorism - over the year, an increase of one on the previous year.

All of these deaths occurred in Belfast, one in February 2018, one in December 2018 and one in January 2019.

Bombing incidents also saw a large decrease on the past year with 17 compared to 26.

Arrests under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act remained largely the same with 166 people arrested between February 2018 and January 2019, compared to 167 the previous year.

The majority of the arrests took place in the Belfast and Derry City and Strabane council areas. The number of people charged after the arrests increased from 11 to 20. 

There were a similar number of firearms found by police during the past 12 months, with 41 discovered, compared to 43 in the past 12 months.

Police also discovered an increase in explosives with 1.3kg found over the past year, compared to 0.3kg the year before.

There was also a drop in the amount of ammunition discovered over the past 12 months, with 3,248 rounds discovered, compared to 4,281 the year before.

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