Police urged to curb anti-social behaviour

David Simpson and Carla Lockhart at the Bairds Factory site. INLM1415-805con
David Simpson and Carla Lockhart at the Bairds Factory site. INLM1415-805con

The PSNI must do better to tackle anti-social behaviour at a number of ‘hot-spots’ in the Lurgan area, it has been claimed.

Councillor Carla Lockhart highlighted the issue ahead of meeting with the PSNI, when she plans to address the impact of such behaviour.

“I have been contacted by several people living beside areas which are anti-social magnets,” explained Mrs Lockhart. “The areas of concern include the old Baird’s Factory site, Franklyn Park onto Pollock Park grounds and the old Saracen Factory site. These areas are a mecca for youths and I believe the PSNI need to get a handle on this escalating situation. Residents are fed up with the noise, feeling vulnerable with the activity going on and the consumption of excessive alcohol. Residents feel prisoners in their own homes.”

Mrs Lockhart asked the PSNI to act immediately: “It is time for the PSNI to stand up to this type of activity and try to stamp it out. It is vital land owners are also approached and asked to secure their properties.”

Inspector Ken Annett said, “Lurgan Neighbourhood Policing Team previously attended a meeting with local councillors in June to discuss concerns around anti-social behaviour. The extent of the problem revealed then is not reflective of the number of reports we are receiving. I would reiterate we need to be made aware of what is going on when it is happening.

“Patrols were increased in the area to prevent and detect any crime happening and we are still of the belief a partnership approach is the most effective way of successfully addressing this issue with a focus on prevention, securing the site and providing diversionary activities for young people. This needs to be done while working alongside local councillors, the local community and our partners.

“Young people should be aware of the consequences of anti-social behaviour and the effect it can have on the lives of residents. I ask parents to be aware of where their children are, and ask parents and others with influence to support us in educating teenagers about what is and is not acceptable behaviour.”