Memorandum submitted by the Ulster Democratic
RELOCATION FOLLOWING PARAMILITARY INTIMIDATION
The UDP totally condemns and actively opposes
all such activity irrespective of which organisation is involved
or of the reasoning behind the intimidation.
The UDP works closely with BASE 2, which
is part of the Northern Ireland Association for the Care and Resettlement
of Offenders. BASE 2 is a highly reputable organisation that was
founded in 1990 to provide a crisis intervention service for individuals
and families placed under paramilitary threat in Northern Ireland.
Our work with BASE 2 involves seeking to
verify or otherwise claims of loyalist paramilitary threat against
individuals or families and, where such a threat exists, seeking
to have that threat removed.
Whilst we can claim a measure of success
in alleviating the problem of intimidation, unfortunately our
influence in this regard is limited. It must be said however that
our efforts, constrained as they are, are in stark contrast to
some other political parties who, whilst extremely vocal in their
condemnatory comments, make no real effort to try and alleviate
the problem. Indeed it would appear that instances of paramilitary
intimidation, whether real, imagined or invented, serve some parties
merely as a means for party political exploitation.
Where possible, the UDP also deals directly
with, and on behalf of, people who feel under threat from loyalist
The UDP believes that ultimately the problem
of paramilitary intimidation can only be solved when the habitual
tendency within some sections of our community to "short
circuit" the justice system by engaging paramilitary groups
to exert summary justice, is discontinued. This, of course, will
also require the paramilitaries to desist from taking on such
a role and for the police service to be more pro-active in tackling
petty crimeparticularly in working class areas. Relationships
need to be re-established between the police and large sections
of the community in order for the blight of paramilitary intimidation
to be removed from our society. During 30 years of high-level
terrorist activity, the RUC were, understandably, diverted from
dealing effectively with many instances of petty criminality.
This created a vacuum that, for many reasons, was filled by paramilitaries.
The police must now seek to reclaim that ground.
10 October 2000