UDA searches: Four men arrested and ammunition and drugs seized.
The men, aged 24, 32, 34 and 36, were arrested in the north of the city on suspicion of being UDA members.
Paramilitary uniforms, drugs, a gun holster and ammunition were seized during a two-day operation which included 13 searches in north Belfast, Holywood, Co Down, and Portadown, Co Armagh.
UDA ties, badges and flags were also seized, along with steroids, cannabis, mobile phones and tablets.
Two of the men, aged 34 and 36, have been released pending a report to prosecutors over UDA membership. The 36-year-old man will also be reported for supplying class C drugs.
The 24-year-old man and the 32-year-old man remained in custody last night.
Detective Inspector Heather Whoriskey appealed to anyone with information about paramilitaries to contact police.
“I understand that people feel afraid to speak out against these paramilitaries, but police need information from local people – as we will act on information we receive,” she said. “It may not always be visible and immediate but please be assured that every piece of information is assessed and acted on.” With many thanks to: The Irish News.
TODAY we launch an appeal for much-needed funds for loyalist paramilitaries and Loyalist Communities Council (LCC).
After giving up their criminal campaign, 20 years after they last promised to give up their criminal campaign, the Re-home a Red Hand and Adopt a UDA Man (RRHAUDAM) appeals urgently need your help. For just £50,000 a year could give idle buggers like Sammy from the Shankill a community worker’s job. It would help to pay for the three holidays a year and the top-of-the-range car which he and his family so badly need. In return, he’ll promise to enrich the culture of his community and lay off doing anyones’ knees. Obviously he’d still be good for a bit of blow (weed) but keep it to yourself. But the suddenly contrite paramilitaries aren’t looking for charity. They will be bringing important job skills to any cushy number they’re offered. They have maths skills from years of working out if Jonty has a kilo of weed how many half ounces can he knock out if he expects a 50 per cent mark up.
Or if a local businessman refuses to pay his £80-a-week protection money how many bricks will it take to do his windows. They have invaluable people skills, honed over decades of dealing with the local community – the bookies, the bar men, the travel agents, the car dealers, the wee girls in the off-licence. And all they want is the chance to give back to their community by getting the jobs few of them have ever bothered getting before. They long to experience life on minimum wage and a zero hours contract because who needs qualifications when you have an overwhelming sense of entitlement. Our appeal so far has raised £1 million from the Tony Blair’s an Angel Who’s Still Fixing the World Foundation.
It’s a tiny amount compared to the £26 million which was raised by the PIRA in their Northern Bank fundraiser but it was either that or cupcake sales for the next millennium. It’s vitally important that the paramilitaries are shown our love because otherwise they might just keep doing what they’ve always done for the last 20 years. There will be some strays from the path of peace, like Tyrone, South East Antrim, East Belfast and the UPRG who aren’t ready to leave the old ways behind. They will be humanely arrested for blatantly breaking the law, even though they’ve miraculously got away with a life of crime up to now. So please give what you can – support your local loyalist so he doesn’t have to. With many thanks to: Roisin Gorman.http://firstname.lastname@example.org.Sunday World.
The figure included the under-car bomb which claimed the life of Constable Ronan Kerr in Omagh in 2011. There were also 67 shooting incidents linked to Paramilitary groups, including 33 casualties from so-called punishment shootings, all carried out by dissident republician orgainisations.
Loyalist groups also continue to be active when it comes to vigilante justice with 31 Paramilitary-style assults carried out in the last 12 Months up to April. Arrests under the Terrorism Act decreased from 195 in 2010/11 to 159 during 2010/11. The number of people charged to appear in Court was just 39.
Drug offences meanwhile containued to rise with a 10 per cent increase on the previous year, the majority relating to seizures of Cannabis. There was also a dramatic increase in cases of domestic abuse, with over 25,000 reports of violence within the home to Police – the highest since the PSNI began keeping comprehensive records in 2004. It said the increase may be connected to a campaign to encorouge reports from victims.
Burglary and car crime were both down on the previous years, as were incidents of antisocal behaviour-bringing them to the lowest in 14 years. While crime was down overall by around 1.6 per cent, the clear-up rate-the number of cases either taken to court or disposed of by other means-fell by one per cent. ” I am pleased to report that crime is at its lowest level in 14 years, which is encouraging news, ” Cheif Constable Matt Baggott said. ” This should be seen alongside increasing levels of confidence in Policing. Togeather these show that Policing, with increasing support, is having an impact on a more postive future.”
Policing Board Chairman Brian Rea said: ” Detection rates have been subject of detailed discussion at the board over the last year. ” The figures published show some-improvement in a number of areas but in others the P.S.N.I. have not meet targets set. ” The board has recently expressed-major concern around the Police responce to punishment attacks and the need to improve clearance rates.” he said.
WITH MANY THANKS TO: ALLISON MORRIS( IRISH NEWS ).