More work needed to disrupt paramilitarism in Northern Ireland – watchdog

A watchdog has called for greater progress in disrupting paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has been urged to prioritise investment in investigating criminality linked to the terror groups.

The Independent Reporting Commission (IRC) highlighted the impact of the collapse of political power-sharing on progress as it published its first report since it was established just over a year ago.

A taskforce established a year ago combines law enforcement agencies to target organised crime.

The IRC report said: “The Taskforce has made an encouraging start.

“In our 2019 report, we would like to be in a position to show evidence of greater disruption of paramilitary activity alongside the criminal justice outcomes.”

The IRC’s members are former US peace envoy Mitchell Reiss, Tim O’Connor, John McBurney and former human rights commissioner and political leader Monica McWilliams.

It was established following the 2015 Fresh Start Agreement between the UK, Ireland and the main Stormont parties.

It said paramilitarism remained a “stark reality” of life in Northern Ireland.

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