Northern Ireland

Bombing incidents and shootings increase in Northern Ireland

Figures show police in Northern Ireland had to deal with an increased number of bombing and shooting incidents over the last 12 months (PA)
Figures show police in Northern Ireland had to deal with an increased number of bombing and shooting incidents over the last 12 months (PA) Figures show police in Northern Ireland had to deal with an increased number of bombing and shooting incidents over the last 12 months (PA)

A rise in bombing incidents and shootings have been recorded in Northern Ireland.

There were seven bombing incidents recorded in the last year compared to four during the previous 12 months, according to the latest police statistics.

Three of these happened in the Derry City and Strabane council area, while two happened in Ards and North Down and there was one in both Belfast and Mid Ulster.

There was also a rise in the number of shooting incidents, up to 32 from 26.

Most of these took place in Belfast (10) but the number in Ards and North Down – where there is an ongoing feud between drugs gangs with loyalist paramilitary links – has increased to eight from two in the previous year.

The 2022-23 figures compiled by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) from police records covering July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 show there was one death described as security-related in the last 12 months, the same number as the previous year.

An officer from the PSNI at the scene of the shooting of Sean Fox at the clubhouse of Donegal Celtic Football Club
An officer from the PSNI at the scene of the shooting of Sean Fox at the clubhouse of Donegal Celtic Football Club An officer from the PSNI at the scene of the shooting of Sean Fox at the clubhouse of Donegal Celtic Football Club (PA)

It relates to the murder of Sean Fox who was shot in front of more than 100 people inside a west Belfast social club in October 2022.

Meanwhile, there were 28 victims of paramilitary-style assaults, a drop from 36 in the previous 12 months. Of those, most (11) took place in Belfast and five were in Ards and North Down.

There were 11 victims of paramilitary-style shootings, the same number as during the previous 12 months.

There were 114 security-related arrests under the Terrorism Act, down from 126 in the previous 12 months.

Of those, 20 were subsequently charged, compared to 17 during the previous 12 months.