Violent republican groups must be isolated from communities: top Londonderry police officer

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Violent dissident republican groupings must be isolated from the communities in which they operate, says leading Londonderry police officer Mark McEwan.

Superintendent Mark McEwan, District Commander in Derry City and Strabane, made the call after a young Londonderry man was shot twice in the leg in Creggan on Monday night.

The man was taken to hospital for treatment for two gunshot wounds to his right leg. His condition is described as critical.

“This was a brutal attack on a young man last night. This has all the hallmarks of a paramilitary style attack. There are a number of lines of enquiry however the investigation is focussing on violent dissident Republican groupings,” said Superintendent McEwan.

“It is understandable that people are fearful however we will treat any information sensitively and we will deal with the witnesses sensitively but we do need that information to help us progress the investigation.

“Those who are involved in paramilitary style attacks do not represent the interests of any community nor contribute anything to it. They prey on the community and have no legitimacy in dealing with perceived unlawful behaviour or misdemeanours. This type of activity has no place in a civilised society. Those who are involved in such behaviour have no thought or concern for their victims, victim’s families or the wider community.

“It is clear that the vast majority of people here have chosen to support the police and support law and order. Those small groups of individuals who continue to try and terrorise people and commit criminal acts must be isolated from communities. We would ask that every right minded member of society works with us to give us the information we need to bring these people before the courts and make Northern Ireland a safer place.”

Anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone with any information that can assist with the investigation to contact Detectives in Strand Road on 101. Information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.