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Volume 487: debated on Monday 26 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent assessment he has made of the security situation in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. (248994)

The 20th IMC report underlines the very significant progress that Northern Ireland has made towards a more normal society; however, dissident Republicans remain active and committed to killing or injuring police officers. They are isolated within the wider community and I have every confidence in the PSNI's ability to deal with the threat they pose. The extension of the decommissioning scheme provides loyalists with a final opportunity to signal their commitment to move forward and give up their weapons. This scheme does not cut across continuing PSNI efforts to find and remove illegal weapons.