This campaign has been developed and delivered by the Northern Ireland Executive Programme to Tackle Paramilitary Activity, Criminality and Organised Crime.

The Programme is active across all of Northern Ireland to support people and communities who are vulnerable to paramilitary influence and harm, with commitments being delivered collaboratively by government departments, statutory agencies and partners in the voluntary and community sector.

Paramilitary gangs seek to manipulate and control communities for personal gain. As a result, vulnerable individuals – often young people – can be subjected to threats, intimidation and even violent assaults. They can also be drawn into general criminality, or targeted for recruitment into paramilitary organisations – shootings, beatings, drug dealing, protection rackets and money lending are their stock in trade.

Over the last five years, the Programme has been working to tackle the harm caused by paramilitary gangs across communities in Northern Ireland. A key aim of the Programme is to try to break the cycle of violence and prevent yet another generation of young people from being exploited and abused by paramilitaries. Through a range of projects and interventions, the Programme is working to support the victims of paramilitary activity, and to bring an end to that exploitation, including recruitment into paramilitary organisations.

The over-arching aim of the Programme is to ensure that people and communities are kept safe from the harm caused by paramilitary gangs, and supported to be more resilient to paramilitary influence and control.

This campaign aims to shine a light, not only on the specific criminal act of illegal money lending, but on the wider paramilitary activity that hurts vulnerable people and communities.

Our previous campaigns have highlighted the brutal nature and impact of paramilitary attacks (2018) and how buying fake and illegal goods funds organised crime (2016).

This cross governmental work is making a difference. The Programme has recently been extended for 3 years to 31 March 2024 to continue its vital work.

For further information visit the Programme website.



Or follow us on Twitter @endingtheharm.

“This renewed funding will focus on helping those facing paramilitary harm as well as ensuring that young people are not drawn into a new generational cycle of paramilitarism, violence & crime.

People have had to live with paramilitary control, violence, threats and exploitation for far too long. Families, communities & business are all desperate to return to normal after COVID-19 and the last thing they need is the negative influence of paramilitary gangs.

Our focus, by extending & refocusing the Executive’s Programme to address paramilitarism, criminality and organised crime is to stop harm, both in the here and now and for the longer term.”

Minister of Justice, Naomi Long

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