Police chief's plea for patience as checkpoints are stepped up

LISBURN'S police commander is appealing for drivers to be patient as officers step up road checkpoints in the area to counter a 'severe' threat from dissident repolublicans.

It was reported this week that the threat level is now the highest it has been since the Omagh bombing 12 years ago.

Chief Inspector Darrin Jones is asking drivers to be patient and support the police in their efforts to secure the area.

Chief Inspector Jones said that as a result of the threat they have had to place check points around Lisburn as terrorists continue what he described as a 'misguided pursuit of destruction.'

CI Jones said: "The PSNI has absolutely delivered on its obligations over the past decade and is increasingly delivering the personal, professional and protective service that communities expect from us. We will not be deterred or put off by those who offer no alternatives.

"In the days ahead you will notice a significant increase in police presence where it is needed most. In this regard I would ask for the community to support us and be patient as we deal, on your behalf, with the very serious threat that we all face.

"We need the community as a whole to help us to do our job and isolate those who have nothing to offer any of us. I would encourage anyone with information to make use of the confidential Crimestoppers service by dialling 0800 555 111."

There have been ten attacks provincewide since the start of the year but the security forces are believed to have prevented many others.

The dissidents are believed to have stepped up recruitment and cooperation and improved their level of technical skills amid concerns they may attempt to disrupt the election campaign.