POLICE have urged residents to report every single criminal incident in Shankill and Wakehurst.
It comes after a report in a recent edition of the ‘MAIL’ which exposed an under-reporting of crime in the Dill Avenue area.
The paper uncovered, while reporting on a story of a pregnant woman who claimed antisocial behaviour and accommodation issues had forced her out of her rented property, that only 23 incidents had been reported in Dill Avenue in the past year - according to police.
A police source revealed that the figures for reported crimes in Dill Avenue and the actual amount of antisocial behaviour in the area didn’t tally.
In order to address crime in the area, neighbourhood officers say they need to be made aware of it.
Constable Sproule and Constable Crossey are dedicated neighbourhood officers for the Shankill and Wakehurst area and have been working with Northern Ireland Housing Executive and Craigavon Policing and Community Safety Partnership since December 2011 to reduce incidents of antisocial behaviour.
This partnership work has resulted in a number of projects and schemes in the area including alley gating and clearance of overgrowth in the alley at the rear of Rectory Road (in partnership with CIDO Security).
The Neighbourhood Team have also increased their presence in the area through high visibility patrols, community meetings and engagement projects with local youths. Stringent bail conditions have been imposed to exclude priority offenders from the area and police have patrolled with a drugs dog which has resulted in two drugs seizures in the last month alone.
Constable Sproule explained: “We are working continually with local residents in the area to tackle their concerns and since December 2011 antisocial reports have decreased, however, under reporting of crime is hampering our efforts and prevents us from targeting our efforts in the most effective way.
“We cannot address crime if we are not made aware of it.
“We have spent a lot of time promoting our presence in the area and explaining to residents what we are doing and how we can help. We delivered leaflets to every home in Shankill/Wakehurst estates, encouraging reporting of antisocial behaviour and providing contact details for ourselves and the local PCSP.
“We have also attended the Landlords Forum at Craigavon Civic centre to encourage private landlords to work with us.
“The support and co-operation of the local community and landlords is vital to our success in tackling antisocial behaviour and we would encourage anyone with concerns to contact us in Lurgan Police Station on 0845 600 8000.”