Drugged up junkies and drunks having sex parties in broad daylight is just one complaint of angry residents in a Lurgan street.
Despite years of complaints, residents in Union Street say they are fed up with the consistent anti-social behaviour and lack of action by the authorities.
One man, who was too frightened to be named, said the constant partying has become intolerable.
The alley behind Union St leading to Connolly Place has become a mecca for ‘a sub-culture of anti-social behaviour’, he said.
The resident said he is too frightened to speak publicly as others had been attacked or burnt out after complaining.
He said the alley is littered with alcohol bottles and drug paraphernalia.
“A lot of people are fearful, terrified of these druggies,” he said. “Residents don’t bother contacting the police as they feel they are not a priority and the police don’t do anything. They are fearful and frightened that nothing is being done to help.
“The type of behaviour that is going on down the alley way is shocking.
“There could be anywhere between 50 to 100 people gathering in the alley from teenagers to people in their 60s.
“They have got to a stage where they don’t care and are openly having sex in the middle of the day.
“There are drug addicts, prostitutes and others under the influence of drink.
“I saw someone in an absolute mess the other day but people are too scared to go out and help.
“In fact it has got so bad that they are afraid to bring their bins down the alley and are hauling them through their house to leave them at their front door to be emptied. It’s because they are scared of the junkies down the alleyway,” he said.
“Residents have become disillusioned with the council and the police. Everyone has suggested putting a gate up to stop them entering the alley but no one has done it.
“The council put a no drinking sign up, like they were going to heed that, and the police said they would increase patrols. A year later and it is getting worse so obviously extra patrols don’t work.
“People are just sick of it. I am concerned for the health and well-being of the elderly in the street.
“The council has failed us and the police have failed us,” he said, adding that the politicians are doing nothing to help.
PSNI Inspector Brian Mills said: “While Police are not aware of any recent incidents in the area people need to understand the extent to which anti-social behaviour can have an adverse effect on the quality of life for the people affected by it. We are here to listen to all community concerns and work with others to find a solution to any problems they may have.
“Police seek all opportunities to address anti-social behaviour, working closely with local residents and partner agencies. This work includes enforcement, making arrests and education, which in turn helps our young people to understand the impact this type of activity can have on the victim.
“If anyone in the area is concerned about antisocial behaviour or any sort of criminal activity, please contact us on the non-emergency number 101 and let us know so that we can respond appropriately. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
A Council spokesperson said: “From last summer, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s Policing and Community Safety Partnership, Community Development and Environmental Health teams have not received any further complaints of anti-social behaviour and fly tipping in this area.
“The Policing and Community Safety Partnership will work with its partners to encourage local residents to report any incidents of anti-social behaviour to the police on either the non-emergency number 101 or on 999 if there is a crime in progress.
“Unfortunately this particular alleyway does not fall under the remit of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (NI) 2011, therefore Council does not have the powers under this legislation to make a gating order under the specific conditions.
“Council continues to work in partnership with the relevant agencies to assist and support the community on managing levels of anti-social behaviour, alleviate incidents of fly tipping and take action to remove litter from the area.”