Paramilitary-style attacks halved in Belfast
The number of deaths resulting from paramilitary-style attacks is at its lowest since 2013/14, reports the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).
Belfast has seen a decline from 39 assaults to just 16 since the last annual report. Mid and East Antrim have seen a similar decline from 17 to seven.
The number of overall casualties has also gone down to 64, a decrease of 12 since 2016/17.
The number of sectarian crimes recorded in 2017/18 is at its lowest ever, a fall of 61 per cent compared with the highest level in 2005/06.
And in two consecutive months – February and March – there were no paramilitary shootings at all.
However, possession of weapons has risen 12.4 per cent to the highest number PSNI has recorded to date. The number of violence against the persons offences recorded has also increased.
PSNI head of the Criminal Investigation Branch Detective Chief Superintendent Tim Mairs said: “While we welcome the reduction in paramilitary-style assaults in Belfast and in Mid and East Antrim during this period, one assault is one too many for the victim.
“Let me be clear – there is no place for what are often faceless thugs who believe they have a legitimacy to mete out their so-called justice in our communities in an attempt to seek control through fear and violence.”