Resident voices his anger over ‘a lack of support’ at Connolly Place

Connolly Place Lurgan
Connolly Place Lurgan

Despite regular pleas from residents the local council is refusing to gate an alley in Lurgan renowned for serious anti-social behaviour.

One local resident has described how he has been forced to leave his home in Connolly Place due to the constant torture by drunks and drug takers.

He explained that within the last year a house close to him had been burnt out with the occupants fleeing and he also has been forced to leave with another resident having left around a year ago.

David Robinson, who owns the house, said he had been contacting police but gave up as they never arrived when he called and even if they had spotted the alleged offenders no one was arrested or dealt with.

He blamed intimidation for forcing out all three residents and a lack of police protection.

He added that Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Council failed to support the locals by erecting a gate which may have helped stop the anti-social behaviour.

Mr Robinson says he has lost faith in the police and has moved away from the area.

He has since rented his property out. However over Christmas his tenants also suffered from similar anti-social behaviour.

“We are being forced out of our homes and nothing is being done,” he said.

“These thugs are running rings around the authorities and law abiding people have been forced from their homes.”

He said the street is an eyesore as one property has been burnt out and is boarded up.

Mr Robinson said all the authorities had let the people in this area down very badly.

Chief Inspector O’Connor said: “Police take reports of anti-social behaviour very seriously as we know it affects quality of life within the community.

“However, we need the public to report any incidents to us and we would encourage anyone with concerns to contact us on the non-emergency number 101.

“We have previously offered to meet with residents in the area and discuss any issues with them - and we are still willing to do this if they would like to get in touch,” said the Chief Inspector.

“We have and will continue to work closely with the whole community to address issues as they arise, as well as continually build upon and enhance the strong links that already exist.

“Community support is essential as we seek to make our neighbourhoods safer.

“I would also extend a personal invitation to Mr Robinson to meet with me at his earliest convenience.”

A spokesperson for Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Council 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 behavior and fly tipping in this area.

The statement continued: “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 contacted Land and Property Services to determine ownership and they have confirmed it is unregistered. “Council continues to work in partnership with the relevant agencies to assist and support the community on managing levels of anti-social behavior, alleviate incidents of fly tipping and take action to remove litter,” the statement continued.