July 29th, 2014

PSNI blitz on 'New IRA' and east Belfast UVF thugs in full swing

Northern IrelandBy Jamie McDowell
George Hamilton getting tough on loyalists paramilitaries and dissidents
George Hamilton getting tough on loyalists paramilitaries and dissidents

New PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton has said that the police have made 29 arrests and conducted 102 searches in a crackdown on the East Belfast UVF.

Mr Hamilton confirmed that the PSNI have recovered guns, cash, drugs and contraband in their searches of premises - targeting illegal gaming machines, taxi firms and money laundering operations. 

Mr Hamilton also said that 28 arrests have been made in the Larne and Carrickfergus areas, six of which have resulted in charges being brought, after the violent south east Antrim UDA  'show of strength' back in March in which hundreds of men brandishing weapons attacked houses.  

In his first meeting with the Policing Board as new chief constable, Mr Hamilton said that the PSNI's "sustained operation against organised criminality, including some personalities connected to east Belfast UVF, continue."

He also revealed that three men associated with the 'New IRA', arrested in early June, have pleaded guilty to terrorist offences, with another man from Lurgan sentenced for possession of IED components and explosives.