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Report these thugs and let police tackle crime

There is a concern that we have witnessed an upsurge in so-called punishment attacks.

There are elements in our community who are using violent methods to deal with anti-social behaviour, crime or drug-related matters.

In one incident it is alleged that four different armed groups wanted to take the law into their own hands.

Whatever the circumstances there is no place for appalling violent punishment attacks in our community.

Twenty years ago paramilitaries had no right to impose their type of summary justice on us - equally today violent groups have no legitimacy to impose their will. We now have a fully accountable police service to address criminal and anti-social elements.

The community needs to show its full support for law and order by reporting issues to the PSNI and ensure we get criminals off our streets.

It is important we send a loud message to dissidents who are opposed to the Good Friday Agreement that they need to get off stage and end their violent actions now.

  • Tim Atwood is an SDLP councillor representing west Belfast

Belfast Telegraph