Alliance Banbridge representative, David Griffin, has demanded that the government impose strict legislation to control the activities of restorative justice projects.
Mr Griffin, who is Vice-chair of Banbridge District Policing Partnership stated: “The government must implement stringent legislation to control the activities of Northern Ireland’s restorative justice programmes.
“I fear that the government is soft on this issue because, at the moment, schemes are not properly monitored by police. A lack of police monitoring gives paramilitary organisations the chance to exert control over the community.
“I acknowledge that many restorative justice programmes in Northern Ireland are run in a fair and proper manner and that they play an important role in society here; however, I fear that if concrete legislation is not put in place to regulate projects, paramilitary elements might exploit such projects to intimidate the community.
“Restorative justice schemes which are up and running already are being allowed to operate unregulated and unfettered. This is extremely dangerous because we are trying to rid this society of bullet and baseball bat justice. I call on the government to act now, before it is too late.”