RAAD ban under review says Paterson
PUNISHMENT attacks by self-righteous Londonderry vigilante squad Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) ‘barbaric and inhumane’ according to Secretary of State Owen Paterson who is currently reviewing whether or not to proscribe the group.
He made the comments when asked by Labour MP Nick Smith if he would ban the so-called group.
Said Mr Smith: “The Secretary of State is aware of the so-called punishment attacks by paramilitaries on young people in Northern Ireland.
“These attacks are increasing, particularly in Derry, by a group styling itself RAAD. What every community needs is strong policing, not vigilantes. Will he proscribe this group?”
Mr Paterson replied: “These attacks are barbaric and inhumane and have absolutely no place in a modern Northern Ireland. The only legitimate police force enforcing law and order is the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and it is for it to work with the community. On proscription, I keep all these issues under review.”
The Minister also revealed the “second layer” of his strategy against RAAD and dissident republican organisations was to tackle disadvantage in the areas in which they hold sway.
Conservative MP Jack Lopresti referrd to Chief Constable Matt Baggott’s declaration that the Northern Ireland Executive must do more to tackle disadvantage in the areas where dissident republicans hold sway.
Mr Paterson agreed: “The second layer of our strategy in bearing down on these groups is to get into those communities, but nearly all the projects are in the hands of local Ministers.
“We strongly support the CSI - cohesion, sharing and integration - strategy, which we want to be published as soon as possible, because we believe that the future is a shared future, not a shared-out future.”
Meanwhile, in reference to the security situation in Northern Ireland in general he said the threat level reamined “severe.”
“The Government remain fully committed to countering violence in all its forms and supporting the overwhelming majority of people who want to live without fear and intimidation,” he said.
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Weather for Londonderry
Thursday 23 May 2013
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