Police chief hits out at thuggish paramilitaries

Chief Inspector Nicky Thompson, of Coleraine PSNI.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
Chief Inspector Nicky Thompson, of Coleraine PSNI.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.

DISTRICT Commander, Chief Superintendent Brian Kee has condemned the recent paramilitary style shootings in the Ballymoney, Portrush and Coleraine areas and outlined the police’s commitment to deal with those behind the attacks.

Chief Superintendent Kee castigated paramilitary attacks on the vulnerable and said the punishment shooting of a 15-year-old boy in Harpur’s Hill was “traumatic”

He said: ““Paramilitary style attacks target some of the most vulnerable in our communities. This is not a form of justice. It is a cruel and illegal practice which only serves to terrorise our communities, rather than reduce crime. Communities should not be subjected to this inhumane behaviour and the fear it brings.

“The unjustifiable shooting of a fifteen year old boy was a traumatic event for him, his family and Coleraine as a whole.

“The cross community condemnation in the aftermath of the attack was heartening and undermines those who portray themselves as acting on behalf of their local community in carrying out their violence”.

“The reality is that paramilitary attacks are as reprehensible as other serious crimes such as drug dealing or domestic abuse. Every member of every community affected by this should be reassured that police are committed to addressing the issue and tackling these criminals.

“We will pursue those involved in paramilitary style attacks but need the confidence and support of the local community in bringing these people before the courts.”

The police chief added: ““I would encourage all members of the community across Coleraine, the North Coast and Ballymoney to report crime and to give police information on all criminals they know to be operating in their area.

Anyone with information should call police on 0845 600 8000, and anyone who wants to pass information without giving their details can call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”