Derogatory you stated earlier:
It seems to me that rather than leaving this to the local police, it ought to be a national priority to deal with such groups... isn't that what the Serious Organised Crime Agency is for?
In Northern Ireland, a separate legal jurisdiction (like Scotland), SOCA has no legal standing and this level of activity is not what they directly tackle. The PSNI dominates law enforcement, even if RAAD ostensibly a gang it would unusual if the Security Service did not have an interest.
Secondly you wrote:
Northern Ireland does seem to very serious problems with gang violence [not just from this group] that PSNI seem to be struggling to control. Certainly, many English cities have problems with gang violence, but I don't think English gangs have quite got to the stage of bombing police vehicles?
Law enforcement always struggles when dealing with gang violence, for example the local record here in B'ham can be criticised and is rescued only by success in high profile cases, invariably murders. Here gang members have been violent towards the police, just not with bombs. Most English gangs would prefer to stay well out of police attention, in Londonderry I expect different rules apply - the PSNI has been trying to become the local, effective police and that is not what the gangs and
a small minority do not want.
In Northern Ireland many of the options to counter gang activity are weak, such as public support and the gangs have a history of evading attention - whether it is CCTV, forensic science and informants. There are some who say the PSNI has lost a lot of its skill base and determination.