Significant drop in the number of bombings in Northern Ireland in 2021

Significant Drop In The Number Of Bombings In Northern Ireland In 2021 Significant Drop In The Number Of Bombings In Northern Ireland In 2021
The latest statistics include five recorded bombing incidents between January and December 2021, down from 22 in the previous 12 months. Photo: PA Images
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By Rebecca Black, PA

Northern Ireland saw a significant drop in the number of bombings recorded in 2021, according to the latest security statistics.

Fewer shootings and punishment-style attacks were also recorded by police, however there was one more punishment-style shooting in 2021 than 2020.

The latest figures compiled by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) from police records show there were two deaths described as security related between January 1st, 2021 and December 31st, 2021. This was the same total as recorded for 2020.

Mark Hall was shot dead in the Rodney Drive area, west Belfast (PSNI/PA)

Dissident republican Danny McClean, 54, died after being shot in the Cliftonville Road area of north Belfast in February.

In December, Mark Hall, 31, died after being shot in the Rodney Drive area of west Belfast.

Security-related deaths are described in the figures as those which are considered at the time of the incident to be directly attributed to terrorism, where the cause has a direct or proximate link to subversive/sectarian strife or where the death is attributable to security force activity.


Five bombing incidents were recorded in the last 12 months, compared with 22 in the previous year,

Three of these were recorded in the Causeway Coast and Glens area, while two were recorded in Belfast.

The capital saw the greatest decrease in the number of bombing incidents in 2021, from eight in 2020.

There were 27 shooting incidents across Northern Ireland in 2021, down from 39 in 2020.

However, there was a more mixed picture in terms of so-called punishment style attacks, meted out by members of paramilitary organisations.

Some 37 casualties of paramilitary style assaults were recorded in 2021, compared with 44 in 2020.

There were also 14 casualties of paramilitary style shootings in 2021, compared with 13 in 2020.

Meanwhile, 130 people were arrested under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act in 2021, compared with 79 in 2020.

Of those, 22 were subsequently charged, compared with 14 during the previous 12 months.

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