Resident pleads with police to tackle nuisance behaviour in Rathfriland

Louise McDowell

Reporter:

Louise McDowell

A resident in Rathfriland says she is now “living in fear” due to an escalation in anti-social behaviour outside her home.

The Kiltarrif Park homeowner has also criticised the PSNI for failing to “nip this behaviour in the bud” and fears that with the brighter spring evenings, the problem will only worsen.

The recurring incidents of anti-social behaviour, underage drinking and general nuisance happening in the green space behind The Milestone have been well documented in recent months.

The local woman says she has reported several incidents to the PSNI but maintains that “nothing is being done”.

“I have reported the incidents to the PSNI numerous times whether that is my vehicle being damaged, people urinating over the fence, underage drinking or stealing ornaments from people’s gardens. But nothing is being done about it.

“On the occasions the police do come out, the young ones just scatter. I told the police that when they see them they leave left, right and centre.

“The only way to stop that is to put police at every entry to the area where they are.”

Two cars belonging to the woman have been damaged in recent months.

“I saw them walking over the bonnet of the car, which was subsequently damaged. Yes, the police came out but I have heard nothing back.

“I have also had broken glass at the entrance to my home. We have to go out and clean up the glass before we go anywhere.

“The PSNI are constantly saying that you have to report it for them to do something but how many times do you have to report it before something is done? They are doing nothing.

“It annoys me that the police are saying to report the matter when I know from experience that I have done and nothing has been done about it.

“As residents, how much are we expected to take? I own my house and I do not feel like I should have to move over this.

“The issue has escalated over the past few months and I am now living in fear.

“I do not go to bed when they are there because I do not know what they will do.

“I do not want this outside my house and I am sure no one else wants this either. They have no respect for anybody. I know young ones want to have fun but this is not fun.”

The woman has urged parents to talk to their children about refraining from this type of behaviour.

She worries that if they do leave this area, they will “move on from our area to somewhere else and annoy other residents”.

“The police need to nip this issue in the bud now before it gets any worse,” she said.

Responding to the woman’s remarks, Chief Inspector Barney O’Connor said that the police are aware of these issues and once again, are asking locals to contact them.

“In response to concerns raised by residents, officers have increased patrols in the area and have attended a number of local meetings to listen to those concerns.

“I would continue to encourage the public to report any incidents of anti-social behaviour to police at the earliest opportunity in a bid to help us identify those responsible and we will also continue to work alongside our partner agencies, local representatives and the local community to address the issue.

“Anyone with any information on recent incidents or with general concerns regarding anti-social behaviour should contact police on 101.”

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