PSNI ‘reviewing’ Stacey Dooley documentary about paramilitary-style shootings

Still image taken from the BBC documentary. Image used courtesy of the BBC.

The PSNI has said it is reviewing a BBC documentary on the topic of paramilitary-style shootings in Northern Ireland that featured an interview with four masked gunmen.

The new documentary, produced specifically for the iPlayer-only channel BBC Three, sees broadcaster Stacey Dooley travel to Belfast to investigate the phenomenon.

Still image taken from the BBC documentary. Image used courtesy of the BBC.

Focussing primarily on the Divis area of Belfast, she interviews community workers, several shooting victims, and a PSNI Detective Superintendent.

She also attends a “secret meeting” with four gunmen from an unidentified paramilitary group involved in carrying out the attacks.

After travelling in a windowless van to a secret location, she is filmed meeting four masked gunmen in front of a starry plough flag across from a table draped in the Irish tricolour.

The men can be seen holding what look like automatic rifles, while it appears that a pistol and ammunition have been placed on the tabletop.

Stacey Dooley pictured in Belfast with Divis Tower in the background background. Stacey Dooley - (C) BBC - Photographer: Joseph McAuley

In response to questioning from Stacey Dooley, one of the gunmen attempts to justify carrying out the shootings.

“We believe it is a justified and measured response,” he said. “We’re just normal men. There’s none of us out around acting gangsters with gold chains or cars.

“We could be living next door to your grandmother and that’s why people fear us so much because we just come out of the shadows, do our deed, and go home.”

PSNI Detective Superintendent Bobbie Singleton was also interviewed for the programme.

He said the paramilitary groups responsible for the attacks were “lininig their own pockets”.

“They have wanted to maintain their position and status within communities,” he said.

“They are organised crime groups now. They are exploiting people within their community. They live like parasites, you know, taking money off the local businesses. Anyone who tries to develop anything in the area, they’ll be involved in extorting money from them.”

The PSNI Detective Superintendent continued: “They’re also taxing drug dealers. So they might come out and say they’re taking action to keep people safe, but actually what they’re doing is lining their own pockets.”

A police spokesperson said: “PSNI are reviewing the content of the programme with a view to establishing what, if any, evidential opportunities may be available to us.”

The documentary, titled ‘Shot by my neighbour’, was broadcast on BBC One Northern Ireland at 11.10pm on Tuesday and is available on the BBC iPlayer.

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