Lyttle hails new police initiative to tackle ‘punishment’ attacks

Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle has welcomed a new police initiative designed to tackle paramilitary-style attacks.

However, the East Belfast MLA said that while the PSNI Safer Communities scheme was a longed-for move, more needed to be done by police to ensure support from all communities and stop ‘punishment’ attacks.

According to PSNI statistics, there were 33 casualties from paramilitary-style shootings in 2011/12, with republicans responsible for all of them. There were also 46 victims of paramilitary-style assaults, with 31 by loyalists and 15 by republicans.

“There is no place for these attacks,” said Mr Lyttle.

“I support the police fully in their campaign and call on people from all communities to do the same. There is no excuse to allow these assaults and shootings to take place in our society, and hopefully this PSNI campaign can go a long way to stamping them and their causes out.

“But the police also need to demonstrate willingness to tackle the other forms of control paramilitaries currently exert on communities such as illegal emblems and participation in other forms of crime. They need to do that in order for members of the public to gain the confidence to come forward and help stop these attacks once and for all.”


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