Threat to shoot ‘drug dealers’

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A man purporting to be from the UVF said the organisation will “shoot” two people it claims are involved in drug dealing in the Birches area if they don’t stop their activities.

The caller to the Portadown Times on Tuesday 
claimed the men were selling drugs to children as young as 14 in the Birchwood area.

Describing himself as an officer commander of the loyalist group, he said, “It’s happening nearly every weekend, and on weekdays too. We have lain low for 15 years and 
we are trying to stay out of this, but people are asking us to intervene.

“There are young ones running around high on drugs and we don’t want to see youngsters’ lives destroyed.

“Unlike some of the other groups, we don’t do drugs.

“We want these men to know that we will be taking action against them if they do not stop.”

When asked what type of action, he said, “They will be shot, simple as that.”

The caller also referred to a report in the Tyrone Courier newspaper this week of a death threat to foreign nationals allegedly involved in anti-social behaviour in a park in Dungannon.

The letter to the paper, from ‘loyalist paramilitaries’, threatened to shoot the 
culprits unless they left the park for good.

A police spokesman said Portadown Neighbourhood Policing Team works closely with neighbourhood watch co-ordinators in the area and conducted enquiries on Tuesday, following the threats.

She said, “No concerns have been expressed to police about antisocial behaviour or drugs in this area.”

Meanwhile, Chief Inspector Paul Reid said there was no place for vigilantism, or for people taking the law into their own hands, adding that it can only lead to an increase in the number of incidents.

He said, “While we understand the frustration and adverse consequences of 
antisocial behaviour 
we can only tackle it effectively when the community make us aware of it appropriately.

“Those who engage in vigilante behaviour, whether claiming to represent an 
illegal paramilitary organisation or not, are usually only interested in asserting their own control and influence over local communities, pushing 
selfish and often criminal interests with no regard for wider community concerns.”

The police have urged anyone concerned about criminal or antisocial behaviour in their area to contact them on the non-emergency number 101.