Police in the North are to launch a major security operation against dissident republicans over the next number of days, a senior officer announced today.
The planned increase in police checkpoints and patrols comes in the wake of Monday night’s car bomb blast in Derry – the latest in a series of attacks blamed on the violent renegades this year.
Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie told the monthly meeting of the NI Policing Board that the public may face disruption as a result of the operations.
“Over the coming days you will see an increase in police activity across Northern Ireland as we continue our efforts to prevent serious harm and keep our communities safe,” Mrs Gillespie told members of the PSNI’s independent oversight body in Belfast.
“I acknowledge that on occasion this increase in police activity may serve to delay or disrupt people going about their legitimate business and we’ll certainly seek to minimise the impact of that but we would ask people for their patience and understanding over the coming days.”
The threat level posed by dissidents in the North has been classed as severe for the last 18 months.
Last month MI5 warned that an attack on mainland UK was also now likely.
No one was injured when the 200lb car bomb detonated near a hotel and bank in Derry but substantial damage was caused and traffic was severely disrupted for days.