Knockbreda residents slam PSNI response times
A Knockbreda residents' association has criticised police response times to calls about anti-social behaviour in the area.
The Knockbreda Residents' Association said the ongoing problem of crowds of youths gathering and causing trouble continues to be the biggest concern for residents there.
The association’s chairman, Frank Young, said that while the police have taken action when he has contacted them, response times have been “poor”.
Mr Young said that anti-social behaviour, including under-age drinking, drug-taking and urinating on the street, is happening at a number of locations around Knockbreda, including an alleyway in Knockbreda Park (pictured, right).
He said some residents, particularly the elderly, feel intimidated by the gangs of youths and can be afraid to go out into their gardens.
Mr Young said he found evidence of drug- taking, including a syringe that he found near Knockbreda Park.
“There are issues with cars turning up and supplying drugs. I have seen it a number of times,” he said.
“You feel that if you challenge the youths then you may be singled out and targeted.”
He added: “The last time I had to complain the police were very proactive. But response times are too poor from police. By the time the police have arrived the youths have gone — leaving broken bottles and a mess.”
He added: “Police need to take a stronger stance on repeat offenders. You see the same ones being questioned time and time again — they have drinks taken from them, but they just do it again.”
A PSNI spokeswoman said: “In relation to response times, police in south Belfast endeavour to respond to calls as and when they come in, however due to the volume, calls are prioritised where there is immediate risk to life or property.
“While it is necessary for police to prioritise calls, officers respond as efficiently and effectively as possible.
“Police are aware that less serious crimes can still have a big impact on the quality of life for local residents. These issues are important and Neighbourhood Teams continue to work with local people to find long-term solutions.”