Saturday 17 August 2019

Dissidents will use Brexit to recruit - PSNI

stock photo
stock photo Newsdesk Newsdesk

Brexit could provide dissident paramilitary groups the chance to add new recruits, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has warned.

Assistant Chief Constable Tim Mairs said the UK's expected departure from the European Union this autumn presents a recruitment "opportunity" for the New IRA and other dissident paramilitary groups.

Mr Mairs told the BBC: "We know that the New IRA and other groups continue to recruit people and we believe that Brexit provides an opportunity for them to encourage people to recruit."

His comments will be broadcast tonight as part of a special BBC 'Panorama' programme entitled 'No-Deal Brexit: Are We Ready?'

Despite these concerns, at this stage the PSNI said it does not see any upsurge in recruitment or violence by dissident paramilitary organisations that is being driven specifically by Brexit.

Mr Mairs also explained the fears within the PSNI that potential price differences on the Border created by tariffs could create "new opportunities" for organised crime groups to exploit.

He claimed: "We would see, traditionally, connections between some of those groups and more violent groups."

Mr Mairs also told the programme of the significant issues that could arise in the North in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal on October 31.

"The potential impact of a no-deal on the economy in Northern Ireland is significant and that would in our view present potentially significant security concerns moving into the future," he said.

Irish Independent

Also in Business