Terrorist Threat

Ira – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 14th October 2015.

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Photo of Seema Kennedy Seema Kennedy Conservative, South Ribble 11:30 am, 14th October 2015

What discussions she has had with the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland on the terrorist threat in Northern Ireland.

Photo of Flick Drummond Flick Drummond Conservative, Portsmouth South

What discussions she has had with the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland on the terrorist threat in Northern Ireland.

Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

The terrorist threat from dissident republican groupings continues to be “severe”. It is being suppressed through the hard work of PSNI, MI5 and their security partners, but the need for total vigilance remains.

Photo of Seema Kennedy Seema Kennedy Conservative, South Ribble

Although there is a need to remain vigilant about the threat of terrorism, does my right hon. Friend agree that it should not overshadow the great progress that has been made?

Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

I agree. Life in Northern Ireland has been transformed over recent years. The security situation has been transformed. There is still a lethal terrorist threat, but it is far smaller in scale than it was during the days of the troubles.

Photo of Flick Drummond Flick Drummond Conservative, Portsmouth South

There is growing concern about terrorist organisations becoming drug-dealing organisations. Will the Secretary of State assure us that the authorities in Northern Ireland are well supported with funding to combat this?

Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

It is important that all forms of criminality are combated in Northern Ireland. There is serious public concern about the involvement of some members of paramilitary groups in organised crime, drug dealing and paramilitary activities. This Government are determined to work towards a day when paramilitary organisations disband, and we support the law enforcement agencies in combating all forms of criminality. [Interruption.]

Photo of Mary Glindon Mary Glindon Labour, North Tyneside

Last week a police recruitment event that was due to take place at the Waterfoot hotel was cancelled because of a bomb being discovered in the grounds. What work is under way to ensure that the PSNI receives the appropriate support to tackle any potential threat?

Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Over the past two spending reviews we have provided an additional £231 million to support the PSNI in its efforts to tackle dissident republican-related terrorism. That has provided vital support in a campaign against those terrorists and it is one of the reasons why, thankfully, the vast majority of the attacks do not succeed. I know that the PSNI will work hard to find alternative venues so that its recruitment event can go ahead.