DUP Member of Parliament for North Antrim Ian Paisley has responded to the latest NIO assessment of the security situation in the Province. In a statement presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State Theresa Villiers, the NIO stated:
The threat from attacks by dissident republican terror groups remains SEVERE, that is to say, an attack is highly likely.
There have been sixteen national security attacks by dissident republican terror groups.
Tackling terrorism remains a Tier 1 risk for the government: the highest priority level.
The threat which peaked in 2008 from dissident groups is being stemmed (sixteen attacks last year as opposed to forty in 2010.
Ian Paisley MP said:
“The DUP has consistently pressed the government for greater investment in the battle against the dissident republican criminal gangs. Over the course of the last five years an additional £231million has been allocated to the PSNI to take the fight to those who would seek to drag our Province backwards into the dark old days. A further £200 million has also been secured as a result of the recent Fresh Start agreement and there is now a routemap in place to put paramilitaries out of business.
I welcome this statement from the government which shows that investment is delivering a positive outcome. The dissident republicans crime gangs are being squeezed and boxed in by the legitimate forces of law and order. This is reflected in the falling number of national security incidents attributed to these gangs. This should be a welcome statement for all law abiding citizens in Northern Ireland.
There can be no let up in the battle against dissident republicans and I urge the government to continue this wise investment in protecting the people of the United Kingdom from these criminals.”