Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Police warn of death threats against ten people

Sinn Fein has called on the PSNI to take action against what it terms “criminal gangs” in the south Armagh area after ten people were advised by police that their lives are in danger.

The party’s MLA Conor Murphy says failure by the police to adequately tackle the issue has resulted in ongoing intimidation and threats “against a wide range of individuals” and is impacting on public confidence in policing.

He revealed that ten people in the locality have been recently warned by the PSNI of threats to their lives, one of whom is Crossmaglen man, Frank McCabe Snr, whose son, Frank Jnr, was seriously injured in a poster bomb attack last year.  Mr Murphy criticized the police investigation into this incident and said people are angry at the lack of progress into the attempted murder of the young man.

“In the past 18 months there has been a notable increase in vehicle and machinery theft and other criminal activity on both sides of the border.  There have also been ongoing intimidation and threats against a wide range of individuals with 10 people being advised recently by the PSNI that their lives are in danger. This includes Frank McCabe, the father of the young man seriously wounded in a bomb attack last year, carried out by a gang who had previously shot and beaten another local man,” he said.

“There is a growing frustration within the community in south Armagh about the PSNI’s inability or unwillingness to combat the activities of these criminals.  The apparent impunity with which these criminals can act is risking public confidence in the PSNI in the area. We need to see action from the PSNI to tackle these criminals now.”

Mr Murphy revealed he and his party colleagues, Megan Fearon and Gerry Kelly, recently met with senior PSNI officers including the Chief Constable, Assistant Chief Constable and the local area commander to discuss “serious concerns about the lack of PSNI action against criminal gangs”.

“The Chief Constable has agreed that the PSNI will meet with the McCabe family to update them on the investigation into the attempted murder of their son and we will continue to engage with the police at a senior level to ensure there is an adequate response to the activities of these criminal gangs,” he said.