Vigilantes not answer to city drugs problem says Durkan

Image caption, Mark Durkan warns vigilantes won't solve drugs problem

Vigilantes do not have the answer to Londonderry's drugs problem, Foyle MP Mark Durkan has warned.

He was responding to reports that dissident republican group Republican Action Against Drugs has ordered ten people to leave the city immediately.

Mr Durkan said people should not take the law into their own hands.

"We all recognise that drugs are a serious problem. But RAAD and its methods are not a serious answer," he said.

"We cannot have people setting themselves up to deal with these sorts of problems."

In November, the Independent Monitoring Commission said RAAD was partly responsible for a rise in paramilitary-style attacks in Londonderry.

It referred to the "growth of vigilante organisations which claim to want to 'clean-up' (their term) anti-social behaviour".

The IMC said these groups - which included RAAD and the Belfast group, Concerned Families Against Drugs, were "a factor behind the increase in the number of attacks in some nationalist areas".

The body, which is responsible for monitoring paramilitary activity, also said it believed the groups had undertaken attacks which included the use of pipe bombs.