Belfast Telegraph

Paramilitary assaults in Northern Ireland increase to 60

Most were carried out in Belfast, Newtownabbey and Antrim, police said.

PSNI chief constable Simon Byrne (Michael McHugh/PA)
PSNI chief constable Simon Byrne (Michael McHugh/PA)

By Michael McHugh, PA

The number of paramilitary-style assaults in Northern Ireland increased to 60 in the last year, police have said.

Most were carried out in Belfast, Newtownabbey and Antrim.

Londonderry and Strabane also saw a large rise in the number of casualties.

Six of the victims during the last 12 months were aged under 18.

It is an odious crime and how people think it is legitimate is beyond belief in civic society Simon Byrne

PSNI chief constable Simon Byrne said: “It is an odious crime and how people think it is legitimate is beyond belief in civic society.”

There were 17 casualties from paramilitary-style shootings during the last 12 months, compared to 21 during the previous 12 months. Of these 17 shootings, 10 occurred in Derry City and Strabane.

Mr Byrne added: “Republican, loyalist and organised criminal groups continue to conduct paramilitary-style attacks and intimidation directed at the wider community.

“These brutal attacks remain a significant issue in many communities in Northern Ireland.”

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The report also revealed the highest figures over the past decade for potential victims of modern slavery and human trafficking (Niall Carson/PA)

The chief constable’s report to the Policing Board in Belfast also revealed the highest figures recorded in Northern Ireland over the past decade for potential victims of modern slavery and human trafficking.

The review said: “Modern slavery and human trafficking continues to be a fast-growing crime in Northern Ireland.

“During the 2018/19 financial year, 59 potential victims were identified in Northern Ireland, an increase compared to 36 the previous year.

“Already this financial year 64 potential victims have been recovered in Northern Ireland.”

PA

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