East Belfast DUP MLA Joanne Bunting has expressed concern about the lack of reporting and scrutiny of the role and activities of the Provisional IRA in light of confirmation that the 2015 assessment of paramilitaries hasn’t changed.
‘‘The Policing Board often hears of successful PSNI activity against paramilitary and organised crime across our Province but there is serious gap in scrutiny of the activities and influence of the Provisional IRA.
The 2015 assessment commissioned by the Secretary of State concluded that the PIRA Army Council and structures remained in place and that members of the organisation oversee Sinn Fein with an overarching strategy. Some members were still involved in storing weapons, identifying informants and other forms of criminal activity.
Given the Chief Constable’s confirmation recently that this status hasn’t changed, there is a real and pressing need for the PSNI to demonstrate that the control and activities of this organisation are not being omitted out of political expediency.
If we are to tackle paramilitarism for good and break the cycle of harm and control it causes to our communities, every proscribed terrorist group and every threat should be addressed. The PSNI and the Board must rectify this moving forward.’’