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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

MI5 change Northern Ireland-related Terrorism threat level

PSNI police TSG officer on street

MI5 has lowered the Northern Ireland-related Terrorism threat level in Northern Ireland (NI) from “SEVERE”, meaning an attack is highly likely to “SUBSTANTIAL”, meaning an attack is likely.

A UK Government spokesperson commented:

"The decision to change the threat level is taken by MI5, independently of Ministers. 

"This is a systematic, comprehensive and rigorous process, based on the very latest intelligence and analysis of factors which drive the threat.

"The fact that the threat level is being lowered is testament to the tremendous efforts of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and MI5 to tackle Northern Ireland related terrorism.

"This positive step reflects the commitment of communities from across Northern Ireland to build a safer place to live and work.  

"As ever, the public should remain vigilant and report any concerns they may have to the police. There remains a small group of people determined to destabilise the political settlement in Northern Ireland through acts of terrorism.

"The Government, police and intelligence agencies will continue to work tirelessly to address the threat posed by terrorism in all its forms. The threat level will be kept under constant review."

PSNI Chief Constable Jon Boutcher

PSNI Chief Constable Jon Boutcher

Welcoming the reduction of the Northern Ireland Related Terrorism threat level, PSNI Chief Constable Jon Boutcher said:

“Today the threat level has been reduced from severe to substantial by MI5, following a regular review. The independent assessment means the threat has moved from an attack is ‘highly likely’ to an attack is ‘likely’.

“I welcome this reduction and its significance for our communities, for police officers and staff and our partners. It is testament to all of our collective long-term efforts, in particular the community, in achieving the kind of society that we all want and deserve.

“Over recent years we have successfully prevented attacks and investigated and pursued groups, such as the New IRA, who don’t care about placing our communities at significant risk through their reckless attempts to kill police officers.

“It is sad that there is still a small group of people within our society who are intent on causing harm and dragging Northern Ireland back to the past.  No-one wants this and we will continue to pursue anyone involved and bring them before the courts in order to make our communities safer.

“It’s just over one year since the cowardly attempted murder of Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell. Our officers will continue to relentlessly pursue those responsible for this most vicious act, seeking to bring all who have played any part before the courts.

“Following the reduction in the threat level the public won’t see an immediate change in how we deliver policing and our priority will remain the same, to deliver a visible, accessible and responsive community focused policing service to keep people safe.”


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