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NI Terrorism threat level lowered for first time in 12 years

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, had announced that MI5 has lowered the Terrorism threat level for the province from ‘Severe’ to ‘Substabtial’.

In a statement Mr Lewis said:

“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 from where it has been since September 2010 is a testament to the Government’s ongoing commitment to protecting the peace process and tackling Northern Ireland-related terrorism, as well as the tremendous efforts of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and MI5 for their hard won gains over the past decade that have helped to make Northern Ireland a safer place to live and work.

“Despite the change in the threat level, terrorism remains one of the most direct and immediate risks to our National Security and to communities in Northern Ireland. There remains a small group of people determined to destabilise the political settlement in Northern Ireland through acts of terrorism.”

The threat level ‘Substantial’ means that a terrorist attack is likely and might well occur without further warning.

The Minister continued:

“As ever, the public should remain vigilant and report any concerns they may have to the police.

“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.”

Chief Constable Simon Byrne has welcomed the reduction of the Northern Ireland related terrorism threat level, saying:

“Today, we welcome the reduction of the threat level from severe to substantial. The independent assessment means the threat has moved from an attack is ‘highly likely’, to ‘likely’.

“This is significant as it signals a success in the long-term efforts made by police officers and staff, our partners, and in particular the community, in achieving the kind of society that we all want and deserve.

“The successes that we have achieved over recent years, in preventing attacks, investigating and pursuing groups including the New IRA has brought us to where we are today.

“Unfortunately, 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. We will continue to pursue those individuals and bring them before the courts.

“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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