Dr Stephen Farry MLA stated: “There should be no room for complacency over the nature and level of the dissident Republican threat to peace and stability in Northern Ireland. It is clear that the dissidents want to force the return of the British Army to further their own objectives.
“Operation Banner has come to an end after almost forty years. It is critical that the police are given their proper place in dealing with all threats to the rule of law within this jurisdiction. In doing so, there are two important considerations. First, the police must have access to the necessary human resources and equipment. Second, the Chief Constable should have the ability to call in specialist assistance in support as has already been the case.
“It is important that political leaders do not overreact to the current situation and inadvertently play into the hands of those opposed to the democratic process.”