Concerned parents speak out

FROM:- Paul McKerr, Concerned Parents Against Drugs, Lurgan.

Concerned Parents Against Drugs (CPAD) held a white line picket in Shankill on Tuesday, May 10, to highlight our concerns about drugs in the area.

We all know that drug taking and selling goes hand and hand with anti-social behaviour; we spoke to local residents about the problem and they were very supportive of our plans to hold a white line picket.

We have since been approached and asked the question why not one local elected representative could take the time to attend the anti-drug white line picket? They are happy to knock your door and ask for your vote, but failed to show their support by attending the white line picket.

We firmly believe the only way to help solve this problem is if all the community come together. It is far too easy to take the option that it’s not happening at my front door so it’s not my problem.

This is everyone’s problem, and only the community coming together can help stop it.

When it comes to the PSNI response to the problems in Shankill, you only have to read the Lurgan Mail to see their response. One resident of Shankill claimed that she has been “intimidated and harassed for two years”. Not two weeks or months, but two years. They even tried to kick in her door.

She also states: “On one occasion I saw two officers laughing with some of this crowd after I rang them. I felt like bursting into tears.”

The PSNI response in the Lurgan Mail was “we need evidence so that we can charge people”.

We just want to remind people of the bulletin points on the front page of the Lurgan Mail (August 11). Girls urinate on paths; Boy runs up street naked; Lewd acts in public place; Verbal abuse at vulnerable; Residents are intimidated. Do we need to say any more?

This woman and her family deserve better. The good people of Shankill deserve better.

CPAD reaffirm our commitment to the Shankill community and will continue to work with anyone who needs our help and support.