Published Sunday, 03 April 2011
Matt Baggott drawing up a five year 'battle' plan against these terrorists.
A five year plan I asked him? So the threat is still that bad then?
Of course I knew the answer to that. Unfortunately the murder of Constable Kerr shows exactly why police need a long-term strategy in this fight.
After the Real IRA bombed Omagh in 1998, there was a lull and it seemed possible the dissidents would not rise again from the ashes of the Troubles' most horrific day.
But they have....
It's not just the Real IRA. There's the Continuity IRA. The most dangerous is the relatively new group Óglaigh na hÉireann, a faction of the Real IRA.
So what has changed in the last few years?
Well, the informers have been rooted out and former members of the Provisional IRA with those bomb-making skills that had been lacking have now joined the ranks.
The dissidents basically began to run a tighter ship.
There was a slow build to their new campaign.
Then, in March 2009 they killed two soldiers outside Massereene army barracks in Antrim.
Forty-eight hours later Constable Stephen Carroll was gunned down as he sat in his patrol car in Craigavon.
It's been relentless since then. Bombings, shootings, you name it... Their targets more carefully thought out.
And they've now perfected the booby-trap bomb - a tactic once favoured by the IRA.
Last year Catholic constable Paedar Heffron had to have his leg amputated after one of these devices exploded underneath his car.
Just over a year later they have managed to take another officer's life - Constable Ronan Kerr.
Ronan was a young man who represented the new face of policing.
Matt Baggott summed Ronan up in just one word: "peacemaker".
Police officers I have spoken to are as fearful as they have ever been and were warned immediately after the murder to check under their cars every time they go out.
Matt Baggott has been given an extra £245m to try and put the dissidents out of business. After the shocking events of Saturday no-one should be in any doubt of the threat they pose.
© UTV News