FORMER Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde has come under criticism after he described the current threat posed by dissident republican terrorists as "acceptable".
DUP Assembly member Jimmy Spratt said the comments by the former head of the PSNI at a talk in Oxford this week were "outrageous".
The South Belfast MLA claimed Sir Hugh had insulted the memories of the two soldiers and police officer gunned down by dissident republicans.
"Someone who spent any time in law enforcement should know that there is no such thing as an acceptable level of violence," said Mr Spratt.
In his speech, Sir Hugh Orde, who is now the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said he believed dissidents were "unlikely to be amenable to any negotiated end".
"So it may be that we are currently in a situation where a small number, with a far smaller number of active players within that, are sufficiently committed and resourced to carry out attacks within their own geography.
"To borrow a phrase from the past, we may be at an 'acceptable level of violence' - albeit at a far lower level than when the phrase was first coined."