Published Tuesday, 13 November 2012
Police have been injured in disorder across Northern Ireland. (© Pacemaker)
The Police Federation said there must be zero tolerance against attacks and the judiciary should impose more maximum prison sentences.
Chairman Terry Spence's words come after prison officer David Black was murdered by gunmen on the M1 as he travelled to work at Maghaberry prison.
"Politicians standing shoulder to shoulder after each atrocity is a welcome signal of condemnation and steadfastness but it must lead to concerted action to bring the terrorist campaign to an end.
"Unless we take the serious and effective steps of a policy of zero tolerance then the economic and political prospects of our new democracy will be worn down by attrition.
"That attrition is the death and serious injury, year in year out, of public servants who have dedicated their lives to the protection of this community."
On Monday, a republican paramilitary group which calls itself the new IRA admitted responsibility for killing Mr Black, a 52-year-old father of two.
In recent years two soldiers and two policemen have also been killed by dissident republicans. In July, it emerged that some of the main dissident republican terrorist factions in Northern Ireland were uniting to form a new version of the IRA.
Pretending that we are dealing with minuscule terrorist groups is simply self-deceiving wishful thinking.
"These people may be politically misguided lunatics but they have become a lethal force which needs a legally-based aggressive response from the Executive, the PSNI and the judiciary," Mr Spence will tell a meeting of police federations from across the UK on Tuesday.
"More information and intelligence leading to convictions is needed from the wider community at all levels."
A Northern Ireland Office spokeswoman said: "The Government keeps the status of all paramilitary organisations under review."
In the past seven years more than 1,100 officers have been injured during riots following loyal order parades, and Mr Spence said some have been medically discharged because of public order breakdown.
"The loyal orders and the resident groups should reflect on their failure to understand the price being paid in injuries and risk to life of police officers by their insistence that one side has the right to parade and the other side the right to be offended to the point of violent confrontation," he added.
The PSNI currently has around 7,000 officers - that is 5,500 fewer than were in the RUC in 1998, when the Good Friday Agreement was signed.
Mr Spence said the PSNI is under-resourced to deal with widespread public disorder and should be immediately authorised to begin recruiting 1,000 more officers.
Following talks with the Treasury in London last year, Justice Minister David Ford helped secure an extra £200 million for the police force.
© UTV News