Chris Lyttle MLA said: “Just last week, Chief Constable Matt Baggott launched a major new initiative to tackle the scourge of punishment attacks. This has to be commended because it is dealing with this problem in the correct way.
“It is important the PSNI increase their clearance rate for crimes such as burglary and anti-social behaviour because that will cause the community’s confidence in the police service to grow and with it the likelihood that people will participate in the justice system rather than resorting to these brutal measures.
“Many of the victims of so-called ‘punishment’ attacks are young people. These incidents can cause many lasting effects, both physical and mental, and can therefore impact on them for the rest of their lives.
“They can often be vulnerable even before the attacks. It is critical a strategy for addressing attacks is brought forward in the immediate future. There is no excuse in a democracy to accept these attacks as ‘the way things are’ but rather we need to see it as our duty to stamp them and their causes out.”