Paramilitary report shows reduced activity in Derry but city still posts most shootings and terror arrests

There has been a reduction in paramilitary activity in Derry, however, there are still more shooting incidents in the city and more people stopped under anti-terror laws than elsewhere.

The Fifth Report of the Independent Reporting Commission, which was published on Wednesday, shows the greatest number of shooting incidents in 2021/22 took place in Derry and Strabane (6) and Belfast (5).

There were six incidents in each of the last two financial years in Derry and Strabane, the report shows.

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Though there were more shootings in Derry and Strabane last year there has been a considerable reduction from 2017/18 (19), 2018/19 (14) and 2019/20 (12).

There were no paramilitary style assaults but six shootings over the year.

The report further shows that Derry and Strabane also had the highest number of casualties of paramilitary style shootings (four, a reduction of one from the previous year).

There were, however, no paramilitary style assaults over the year, according to the IMC. There were six in 2017/18; two in 2018/19; ten in 2019/20; and three in 2020/21.

The number of bombing incidents in Derry/Strabane fell from three in 2020/21 to one in 2021/22.

Anti-terror legislation continues to be used more often in Derry/Strabane than elsewhere.

The IMC reports that 115 people were arrested under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000 during 2021/22.

This allows police to arrest a person whom they ‘reasonably suspect to be a terrorist’ without a warrant.

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"Of the 115 arrests, 53 (46%) of them occurred in Derry City and Strabane and 28 (24%) occurred in Belfast,” the report states.

Fifteen households in Derry and Strabane – out of 149 across the north – were accepted as homeless due to paramilitary intimidation in 2020/21.

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