“bid to exert control in nationalist areas in particular is continuing unabated..”

Some figures on paramilitary assaults to consider in a Belfast Telegraph report by Alan Murray. The figures quoted are for the three months prior to the recent accreditation of restorative justice schemes. They are not huge numbers, but they are on the increase. Adds And another “paramilitary style” shooting.

PSNI figures show that between April and June this year the number of paramilitary attacks trebled compared to the same period in 2007 and reported attacks last month show that the bid to exert control in nationalist areas in particular is continuing unabated.

Figures compiled by the PSNI show that between April and June this year dissident republicans carried out three so-called punishment shootings compared to none in the same three months last year. And assaults carried out by republican paramilitaries and loyalist paramilitaries doubled in the same period compared to the same three months last year. Assaults by loyalists doubled to four as did attacks attributed to republicans by the PSNI between April and the end of June this year.

Overall paramilitary shootings and assaults recorded by the PSNI rose to 11 compared to just four assaults and no shootings carried out between April and the end of June last year. And while the volume of attacks so far this year is well short of the total of 52 for last year, the tripling of the figures for the three months to the end of June is a worrying sign.

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  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    When not articulating the thoughts of the UFF and the UVF Alan Murray spend his time with his excellent contacts on the nationalist and republican side of the fence producing intelligent, well-informed and balanced reports. He hides this superb investigative streak behind bullshit fliers in Sunday papers. EVERYTHING THIS MAN SAYS IS TRUE AND ACCURATE.

    Dissidents may well be trying to exert control but they hardly have influence let alone control. And if the Sunday papers and Suzanne Breen et al would stop inflating their importance it might help. But then, that would mean they might have to report on news rather than phony ‘brigadiers’.

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    From what I gather, rank and file cops are livid with the lack of reporting/political whitewashing of the dissident threat. The general feeling, particuarly in border areas is that it’s only a matter of time until a fatality. I guess on the one hand you don’t want to give these groups much media attention but on the other, the coppers need to have adequate protection.

  • Grassy Noel

    Figures compiled by the PSNI show that between April and June this year dissident republicans carried out three so-called punishment shootings compared to none in the same three months last year. And assaults carried out by republican paramilitaries and loyalist paramilitaries doubled in the same period compared to the same three months last year.

    This is incredibly disingenuous reporting, and it comes with a blatant agenda

    Look at the sections I’ve highlighted. He tells us that dissidents carried out three attacks, and then in the next section generally talks about attacks by ‘republican paramilitaries’ doubling over last year.

    But the biggest giveaway is the line about exerting control in nationalist areas – highlighted by Pete in the slugline (which is to be expected given Pete makes no secret of his bias) – why didn’t it sinmply say the dissidents are trying to exert control in these areas?

    Sadly, because he is trying to muddy the waters so that the casual reader will automatically think that mainstream republicans are those involved.

    Awful journalism from an awful journalist.

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    Grassy Noel,

    I think you are being over-sensitive. The reference to republican paramilitaries was in a sentence comparing them to loyalist paramilitaries – in that context the type ( mainstream or dissident) is irrelevant.

  • joeCanuck

    These are really small numbers. It could just be a statistical blip. The authorities are right to increase their vigilance, of course, in case this increase is significant.

  • Garibaldy

    Joe, they are far from a statistical blip. The dissidents have tried to gain popularity by targeting alledged drug dealers and criminals in areas where the police are viewed as doing an insufficient job. There are some parallels with how the Provos operated in Dublin in the 1980s I guess. They aim to intimidate elements that they do not fear (the attacks on SDLP DPP members’ homes being prime examples) while at the same time pose as defenders of the community from hoods etc. I suspect the people of the Dunclug estate or Ballymurphy would get a particular laugh at that.

  • slug

    Are nationalist communities now going through what unionist communities experienced and are only now emerging from – local “brigariers” intimidating and degrading communities?

    It will take time folks but it may be part of the evolution towards a normal society that the loyalist communities went through in the period 1994-2004

  • Pete Baker

    slug

    Your analogy breaks down when you take into account the comparative number of loyalist paramilitary assaults.

    Grassy

    “why didn’t it sinmply [sic] say the dissidents are trying to exert control in these areas?”

    Because that’s exactly what it does say?.. and not just dissenting republican paramilitaries, if you paid attention to what was actually being said.

    As for the attempts to play the man.

    The ball (the statistics) are there to be falsified. A sceptical reader might, for example, suggest that the official police figures represent an under-reported number of assaults.

    You’d almost get the idea that some people would prefer that no-one, anywhere, would mention any of this detail, ever.

    Not even with a suggestion “to consider” them.

  • matalan

    Is Alan Murray still sueing the Steven Nolan show after Frankie Gallagher said he was in bed with the Shoukris, an altogether nasty thought even after a stretch in the slammer Ihab wouldn’t be that desperate. And Murray would need sat nav to take him into republican area never mind have ‘contacts’ in one.