Is sectarianism our core problem or is it a culture of violence?
I was asked this yesterday and have been thinking about it ever since. As you think about it look at a sample of recent news. In Ballymena, scene of a vicious sectarian murder, thugs fired at an ambulance in the Dunclug estate as it came to the aid of those in a house under attack. In Londonderry, three teenage girls have been ordered out of the country. In Newtownabbey, an african family considering leaving after a series of racist attacks. These attacks have persisted despite support from the local community and church to the family and the parent of one perpetrator taking their own child to the Police. The latest edition of the Shankill Mirror features a sectarian slashing on the Ardoyne Road (the prominent CCTV didn’t act as a deterrent to the attackers) and attacks on taxi firms from Protestant areas at Bawnmore. Yesterday a knife amnesty was begun.
Violent crime is growing throughout the UK and BBC magazine asks are we becoming a more confrontational society?