Threat Level Very High Says Chief Constable

Chief Constable says threat level from paramilitaries is 'highly likely'.

Chief Constable says threat level from paramilitaries is ‘highly likely’.

Addressing the increase of the Northern Ireland Related Terrorism threat level, Chief Constable Simon Byrne said: “Today the threat level has been increased from substantial to severe by MI5. 

:The independent assessment means the threat has moved from an attack is ‘likely’ to an attack is ‘highly likely’.

“This is part of an ongoing process of monitoring the threat level in Northern Ireland, which is conducted by MI5. 

“We have spoken publicly about the number of attacks that have taken place in recent months, not least the attempted murder of DCI John Caldwell on February 22. 

“We will relentlessly pursue those who seek to cause harm and terrorise our communities, and attack my officers and staff, and I pay tribute to them as they continue to deliver for our communities.

“I would also like to thank the community and political leaders of Northern Ireland for their overwhelming support for the Police Service in recent times.

“We will not be deterred from delivering a visible, accessible and responsive community focused policing service to keep people safe.”


The Police Service of Northern Ireland has appealed for the public to remain vigilant following a number of incidents in the North Down area over recent days.

North Down and Ards District Commander Johnston McDowell said: “Police are investigating a linked series of incidents, including criminal damage and arson with intent to endanger life.

“These incidents are linked to an ongoing feud between two rival drug gangs operating under the banner of the Ulster Defence Association in the North Down and Ards areas.”

“Since March 22nd eight houses, many of which were occupied at the time, have been attacked with a pipe bomb, petrol bombs and other implements. During this period there has also been two attempted hi-jackings and incidents of graffiti daubed on properties.

“All of these attacks are unacceptable but petrol and pipe bomb attacks are particularly reckless given their potential to cause serious damage to properties, injuries and death to anyone in the vicinity.

“The people behind these attacks have shown a total disregard for the safety of the community.”

“This activity will not be tolerated and I want to reassure people living in North Down and Ards that we have already increased our policing presence across the area so they can expect to see heightened police activity.

“The community can help us by sharing any information they have on who might be responsible for these attacks and reporting any other suspicious activity directly to us on 999 or 101.”

“Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at”  


Shannon Appeals For Calm in Ards

Strangford MP Jim Shannon has called for calm heads as violence seems to be continuing across Newtownards town.

Mr Shannon said: “This past weekend has seen graffiti and violence within the town and I know that people in the community are concerned and worried.

“My message is very simple… please stop and think about the members in your community who are frightened and anxious in their own homes.

“There is no space for this kind of behaviour in our town, and I am asking those responsible to calm things down.

“It grieves me to see this destruction and damage in our community and I know there is a better resolution to find.

“I am aware of the increased police presence and investigations on going and express thanks to the PSNI at this time.”


Alliance Reps Condemn The Violence In Ards

There is no place for violence or intimidation in our communities, say Alliance Strangford representatives.

Alliance Strangford representatives have condemned a string of attacks seen in Newtownards and Bangor over the weekend, and have reasserted that such violence and intimidation have no place in our society.

This included pipe and petrol bomb attacks on a number of residences across both areas. No one was seriously injured, though one man was treated by paramedics after an incident involving petrol bombs being thrown at a residence in Newtownards.

Nick Mathison MLA has said: “One attack of this kind in our community is one too many, but to hear of multiple happening over the course of one weekend is immensely concerning.

“We wholeheartedly condemn all instances of violence and attempts at intimidation. Let it be clear that these cowardly individuals represent nobody other than themselves and their actions stand to achieve nothing but meaningless destruction.”

Kellie Armstrong MLA added: “This deliberate assault on the peace and safety of our communities is absolutely sickening and there is no justification for it.

“Whilst we’re thankful that miraculously nobody was seriously hurt, undoubtedly due in no small part to the timely and professional response of the NIFRS and other emergency services, the terror inflicted both on those targeted and on other residents is reprehensible and must be robustly denounced by all across society.

“We would urge anybody with potentially relevant information about any of these incidents that could aid in bringing those responsible to justice, to please contact the PSNI, or report it anonymously via Crimestoppers.”