Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Pensioners living in fear over vandalism

Condemnation: Alison Blayney

A North Down MLA has slammed vandals in Bangor for torturing pensioners by setting bins alight outside their homes.

OAPs in the Kilcooley area are living in fear because of the anti-social activity of youths in the area recently.

North Down MLA Alex Easton said residents’ bins, including those of pensioners, have been repeatedly set on fire by the young vandals, “causing stress and anxiety amongst the local community”.

Mr Easton called upon the youths to stop.

“I condemn the actions of vandals in the Kilcooley estate who have been setting bins on fire, causing considerable stress amongst the local community — especially pensioners,” he said.

“This is causing considerable anxiety as well as financial stress as householders have to pay for them to be replaced.

“I think it is frightening for the local pensioners that this is going on outside their homes in the dark of night.

“I call upon these people to stop and appeal for anyone with information to bring it forward to the police,” he added.

Alison Blayney from Kilcooley Community Forum said: “Kilcooley Community Forum condemns the actions of those who have set fire to the bins.

“Thankfully no one was injured. Northern Ireland Housing Executive has kindly agreed to replace the bins for those affected.

“Anyone with information should contact the PSNI.”

A spokesman for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive said: “It is very disappointing that this level of destruction has taken place and we understand the distress that it has caused to the residents.

“We are making arrangements for replacement bins to be provided as soon as possible, and we will contact the tenants involved when the bins are ready to be delivered to them.

“We are also arranging to power wash the area where the bins were burned, and we hope that this work will be carried out shortly.”

A PSNI spokeswoman said officers in Bangor “are investigating a number of incidents in the Kilcooley estate in which bins are being set alight”.

“Approximately 10 bins were set alight in Innishargie Gardens, Drumawhey Gardens and Ardgheean Gardens. Police believe a number of males were involved and a bicycle was used,” a spokeswoman said.

“It is often the case that the perpetrators of such offences are known within communities. These individuals need to be isolated and identified.

“Police would encourage anyone who can help to come forward and talk to them on 0845 600 8000.”

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