Police in Derry say they do not believe the dissident group "Republican Action Against Drugs" poses any threat to next year's UK City of Culture events.
During a briefing last evening, Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin called on the group to disband, and refuted figures published in the Guardian newspaper that up to 85 men have been targeted by the group in recent times in the North West.
Commen on the figures quoted in The Guardian, the Chief Superintendent there were a total of 16 casualties as a result of paramilitary style shootings and assaults in G District between April 1st last year and the 31st of March this year. That is still too many, he added saying these attacks must be condemned.
Commenting on the alleged link of a threat from RAAD to the City of Culture, Chief Superintendent Martin said he has no reason to suspect that RAAD pose any physical threat to the City of Culture or to visitors coming to enjoy it.
However, he said, there is no doubt if they persist with their brutal activities, the image and reputation of the city will suffer.
He said these are criminal gangs who set themselves up as judge, jury and administers of summary justice.
They seek to intimidate and bully through the threat of violence and its time they listened to the community, stop what they are doing, and disband.