The Northern Secretary has said he agrees with the assessment of the acting PSNI Chief Constable Colin Cramphorn, that there is no imminent threat to the paramilitary ceasefires of the UVF and the IRA.

Dr John Reid said, however, that he also accepted that paramilitaries had been involved in recent inter-communal violence in East Belfast.

He said that in his opinion ceasefires were not enough.

Dr Reid added that the North must move to a stage where each community was confident that everyone was not just on ceasefire but that paramilitaries were also running down their capability for mass violence.