Northern Ireland's top policeman gives wake-up call on paramilitaries

Security sources say they would not be surprised if dissidents were to stage an incident during G8 summit

Support for Northern Ireland’s paramilitaries will persist until politicians tackle endemic poverty and youth unemployment, the country’s most senior policeman has warned, ahead of a huge security operation to protect next month’s meeting of G8 world leaders.

Northern Ireland’s Chief Constable, Matt Baggott, pleads for greater efforts in countering the economic and social roots of republican and loyalist violence and disorder in an interview with The Independent.

The head of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, who is in charge of security at June’s G8 summit in Fermanagh, urges politicians to focus on pockets of deep-seated deprivation, and warns of the continued threat to life from dissident splinter groups.

Mr Baggott's force continues to face problems from both the republican and loyalist sides, with the greatest risk to life coming from dissident republican splinter groups who continue to try to kill his officers. In an interview with The Independent he warned they pose a severe threat.

But loyalists have also been active, with protests over flag-flying over the last six months leading to disturbances in which well over a hundred police officers were injured. More than 160 loyalists have since been charged.

“Where I think politicians have a greater role to play is in addressing deep-seated social need as opposed to just dealing with the rhetoric of shared future,” he said. “We need a lot more focused work in those difficult disadvantaged neighbourhoods where paramilitarism has its roots, to try to improve the life particularly of young people, and deal with the angst felt by working-class Protestantism and republicanism. That has yet to happen.”

Mr Baggott will be in overall charge of security at the G8 summit which is to be held in Northern Ireland next month. He will head up both his own force and 3,600 officers brought in from Britain as reinforcements in what he described as a "logistically huge" operation."

Preparations for the event will include a fleet of military helicopters for VIP visitors and the provision of hundreds of temporary cells to hold demonstrators in the event of disturbances.

There are fears that the loyalists’ controversial summer marching season will again result in riots.

'Terrorism is the backdrop against which we have to operate': Full interview

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Junior Technical Writer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join an int...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Manager - OTE £50,000

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Manager is required to ...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great company to work...

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'