Belfast Telegraph

Derry residents gather in the snow to reclaim streets ruled by yobs

The women of Rosemount in Londonderry braved sub-zero temperatures last night to patrol the streets where they live in a show of community spirit which they hope will bring an end to weekends of havoc when they are afraid to leave their homes.

The event was organised following growing concern over anti-social activities in the area.

Residents have complained about large gangs of young people drinking and taking drugs on the streets.

Last night the Belfast Telegraph joined about 40 women as they patrolled their snow-covered streets.

There was a visible police presence in the area, a sign of how seriously the PSNI is about tackling the anti-social element.

While there was a significant number of young people on the streets there was no repeat of the anti-social behaviour which has plagued the life of residents.

One pensioner, who lives in the area, told the Telegraph why the residents decided to take direct action.

She said: “The women met and decided it was time for us to come out onto the street.

“A couple of weeks ago I went and opened the door and saw what I thought was a wee young girl just lying on the road and I thought she had fallen and hurt herself. So I went over to her but when I got there I saw there was a young boy on top of her and they were having sex.

“She was out of her head, whether it was on drink or drugs, and she was no more than 14. It was just shocking”

Youth worker James Campbell was also on the streets of Rosemount last night.

He said: “It may seem odd but most of the young people actually agree and support what the residents are doing. But something must be done because the young people here have nothing.

“We think if the youth club and the community centre was opened at the weekend it would give us somewhere to go and something to do.

“The young people don’t want to be annoying the residents, especially the older ones — they all have grannies.”

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