Northern Ireland

Police warning over republican and loyalist 'vigilantes'

The police have said they do not tolerate any type of vigilante activity following recent incidents involving loyalist and republican paramilitaries.

Dissident republican group Óglaigh na hÉireann said it forced a woman it claimed was involved in "anti-community activities" out of her north Belfast home on Saturday.

In Bangor a poster in the name of three loyalist paramilitary groups threatened people allegedly involved in crime.

Police warned those behind the threats.

"We would caution any individual or group against taking the law into their own hands," they said.

"Those who do may themselves commit offences and may subsequently be liable to prosecution."

Police confirmed that a number of windows on a house in the Ardoyne area had been broken on Saturday and a woman forced to "temporarily relocate" while repairs were completed.

Commenting on the incident, and the claim of responsibility by Óglaigh na hÉireann, Sinn Fein's North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly said: "These groups are unrepresentative of the people of Ardoyne and have minimal support.

"If people have issues with a resident they should go through the statutory bodies to deal with it, including the PSNI.

"If this group take a disliking to someone else are they too going to be evicted from their home? The people of Ardoyne have been through too much to let a self-appointed gang attempt to speak for them."

Meanwhile, a poster allegedly issued in the name of the UDA, UVF and Red Hand Commando was issued in the Kilcooley area of Bangor.

It made threats against alleged thieves and those involved in anti-social behaviour.

North Down Mayor, councillor Andrew Muir, criticised those responsible.

"I condemn this attempt to undermine the rule of law without hesitation and hope all other civic leaders will join me in stating that the only people who should be investigating criminal activity and seeking to apprehend alleged offenders are the Police Service of Northern Ireland," he said.

"I would urge the public to contact the police or Crimestoppers with any information about any crime."