Police are urging young people from all communities to help drive the figures down even further with help from social media.
“The Facebook campaign is one tactic designed specifically to reach out to those over 16 who may have information,” said Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris.
“These groups are self-serving, self-named, accountable to no one, elected by no one and they are carrying out a criminal enterprise which is akin to a mafia gang in terms of holding an area in fear.
“The community knows who these people are. Who are they associating with, what vehicles are they using, what houses are they using, where are they storing their weapons. Any of this information is entirely vital for us to move forward in our investigation.”
During the alert youths attacked police investigating the suspicious object with missiles including suspected blast bombs. No injuries have been reported.
The suspicious object was found on the road close to the Lismore roundabout and was examined by army technical officers.
[That’s not in the public interest! – Ed] Indeed.