Joyriders wreak havoc in Taghnevan

RESIDENTS in Taghnevan are said to be up in arms following reports of joyriders speeding through the estate on Saturday morning.

The vehicle was seen travelling down the Old Portadown Road, Taghnevan Close and Downshire Avenue with one wheel badly damaged shortly before 6am.

The silver Mazda 323 was stolen from a house on Rectory Road at around 3am.

A number of cars are also thought to have been damaged as a result of the joyriding.

Residents say they were also plagued by other incidents of anti-social behaviour over the weekend, with a two-day house party annoying many in the area.

They have also claimed the Housing Executive have not been dealing with ongoing problems of anti-social behaviour in the area.

Paddy McMenamin, chair of Taghnevan Residents’ Association, said: “The party in question began on Friday and lasted all the way through to Saturday evening.

“This isn’t a one off case. It’s ongoing, and the Housing Executive are well aware of the problem.

“They are not dealing with it very well, to say the least.”

A spokesperson for the Housing Executive confirmed that they have received reports about anti-social behaviour in the area and said they are “working closely” with the community and the PSNI to try to address the issue.

“We take the issue of anti-social behaviour very seriously,” the spokesperson said.

“Indeed, the District Office is currently processing a number of anti-social behaviour cases and we will not hesitate to take action against those responsible, including eviction, if warranted.

“However, to do this we need evidence and much of this has to come from the community.

“We would, therefore, ask anyone who has experienced or witnessed incidents of anti social behaviour to come forward and report them to their local Housing Executive Office or the PSNI so that action can be taken.”

Sinn Féin Councillor Mark O’Dowd hit out at the car thieves, describing them as idiots.

“Driving a vehicle at high speeds within a built up area is tantamount to firing a weapon indiscriminately in a built up area,” he said.

“At all hours of the weekends there are people on the streets used by this stolen vehicle, and it is no thanks to these idiots that no one was killed. “

The councillor called for anyone with information about the theft or the thieves to give it to the PSNI without delay.

He continued: “It is in all of our interests that this type of activity is stamped out, and it is of particular interest to the people of Taghnevan who are working hard to eradicate anti-social behaviour in the area where this vehicle was seen.

“They do not need imported vandalism to add to their problems.”

Cllr O’Dowd added: “Someone knows something about this incident and that information should be given to the PSNI now. It will be too late when someone loses their life.”

Anyone who has any information on the incidents are asked to contact police in Lurgan on 0845 600 8000.

Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111