'New IRA' targeting car recovery firms for working with PSNI
The PSNI has revealed a dissident republican group is targeting car recovery firms working for it.
Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said that two firms were targeted in arson attacks by the 'New IRA' in recent weeks and others remain under threat.
He told BBC Radio Ulster's Nolan Show that several vehicles had been damaged in the attacks and called the threats "vile and reprehensible".
Mr Todd said that the firms were working with police to recover abandoned vehicles.
"Faceless individuals threatening people's livelihoods and threatening services provided to the community, and without any explanation of what their basis for doing so or what authority they have to do so," he told the Nolan Show.
"In any civilised society, I think it's vile and reprehensible. The sooner people come forward and acknowledge their mistake, apologise and withdraw that threat the better."
The Assistant Chief Constable described the 'New IRA' as "small but dangerous".
"They try to exert their influence by fear, by shooting young people in alleys, by forcing people from their homes and by issuing threats against legitimate business people delivering services to the benefit of communities," he said.
Mr Todd said that police were continuing to work to combat the threat posed by dissident republicans.
"It's our job as a police service to stand between people like that and law abiding citizens.
"We target these individuals on a daily basis, you will see throughout any given week people being arrested, charged with offences and put before the courts across a range of violent dissident republican activity.
"There's a significant amount of resources put towards it on a day and daily basis, 24/7 and we'll continue to do so."
DUP Mid Ulster MLA and Policing Board member Keith Buchanan urged the Sinn Fein leadership to issue a clear statement that there should be no “no-go” areas for the police or their contractors.
"These republican terrorists want nothing more than to drag Northern Ireland back to the dark days. They will not succeed. They are faceless cowards who do nothing but bring chaos and destruction to communities," he said.
"It will take collective and strong leadership from all parties, not least Sinn Fein to stand together in condemnation of these latest actions.
"Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O’Neill should give leadership and condemn those who are trying to create “no-go” areas for the police. The police should be free to go everywhere in Northern Ireland.”
Belfast Telegraph Digital