PSNI and Church leaders appeal to communities to speak out against paramilitaries

The PSNI is appealing to communities to speak out against paramilitaries as a gesture to mark the United Nation's Universal Children's Day.

Police are highlighting what they say is the continued use of violence in paramilitary style attacks on young people, including an incident in Derry earlier this month in which a 17 year old youth male sustained a gunshot wound to his leg.

Latest statistics show there were 28 victims of paramilitary style shootings in 2016 and 2017, double the number recorded in the previous year.

Detective Superintendent Bobby Singleton of the PSNI has confirmed around 6% of the attacks last year were against people under 18 years of age, a statistic he describes as completely unacceptable.

Meanwhile, Church leaders in Ireland have also added their voice to those calling for peace for young people, adding to the discussion that it is more important than ever that support is given to initiatives that offer young people the opportunity to reach their full potential.