Jim Shannon: Zero paramilitary attacks is our aim in Strangford

A paramilitary mural in west Belfast. From November 2014 to October 2017, Belfast West had 55 paramilitary-style attacks ' the highest in the Province. Strangford had 17, making it seventh-highest out of NI's 18 constituencies. 'Pic Pacemaker
A paramilitary mural in west Belfast. From November 2014 to October 2017, Belfast West had 55 paramilitary-style attacks ' the highest in the Province. Strangford had 17, making it seventh-highest out of NI's 18 constituencies. 'Pic Pacemaker

I am concerned over the rise in paramilitary attacks in Strangford.

While we don’t have the large numbers of paramilitary attacks that Belfast has, we are in seventh place in a table that no-one wants to be on.

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The paramilitary attacks [non-fatal assaults and shootings, compiled by the PSNI] are for the period from November 2014 to October 2017.

Over this period there have been 17 attacks – which is 17 too many in this beautiful constituency of Strangford.

It is a cruel method of so-called justice that leaves an individual with injuries that could be life-changing in both a physical and mental way.

Even if not the intent, they could end in death and heartache for an entire family.

I would call on all those in spheres of influence within communities to ensure that on no occasion should the law of the land be set aside for vigilante justice.

The PSNI and the courts are responsible for justice and whilst we have a role to play in giving information and ensuring that we don’t turn blind eyes, it is not our responsibility to mete out the punishment.

The target for our area is zero paramilitary attacks and that can be achieved by the whole community supporting the PSNI and making sure that paramilitary attacks are no more in Strangford, and indeed in Northern Ireland.

Jim Shannon, DUP MP for Strangford