Belfast Telegraph

Residents’ fears over anti-social behaviour

By Michael McCready

Residents in Newtownabbey have said they are living in fear as youths engaged in anti-social behaviour are “terrorising” their area.

The community in Carnmoney Road, Greenhill and Abernethy now want the Department of Regional Development (DRD) to install an alleygate at the St Mary’s/Carnmoney Road pathway in a bid to reduce the problem.

One of the locals, who did not wish to be named, said that groups of youngsters are regularly drinking in the area, verbally abusing residents, smashing cars and windows and urinating on their property.

The resident said: “This has just been constant. They gather at the pathway and cause trouble.

“We are constantly living fearing they will attack. Even if nothing is happening you are just sitting there expecting it to happen.

“There are elderly people and young families living in the area too and they have to deal with their windows being smashed, cars being attacked and these trouble makers urinating on our property.

“We want an alleygate installed at the pathway, as I would say it would reduce the anti-social behaviour by about 70 percent.

“At the moment the situation is just terrible.”

Newtownabbey Alderman Nigel Hamilton said: “The residents have been plagued by young hoods who have given them verbal abuse, damaged their cars, attacked their homes and caused these poor residents to be on a guard watch 24 hours a day.

“I have met with them on a number of occasions and given my support to establish an alleygate at the St Mary's/Carnmoney Road pathway.

“Occasional foot patrolling by the PSNI is no substitute for the restricted opening in the evenings.”

He added: “The issue is one which has been met by intransigence and very little cooperation or understanding for local residents by the Roads Service. I have been persistently trying to achieve a solution now for over three years and if only the potential for a solution to this impasse could be recognised by the department (DRD) residents’ human rights would be given more than lip service.

“People have become so frustrated that they feel contacting the police is achieving very little. It is important that all incidents are reported to enable the police to gather intelligence on the level of the problem.

“This issue needs a solution and I will persist to achieve one which residents are comfortable with.”

A DRD Roads Service spokeswoman said: “Roads Service is happy to meet with Alderman Hamilton to discuss this matter.

“Whilst it is open to anyone to initiate an alleygating scheme, the involvement of the community as a whole will be required to bring about a successful scheme.”

A PSNI spokesperson added: “The Police Service is continuing to work closely with partner agencies and residents in the Glengormley area to curb the number of incidents and confront the problem of anti social behaviour head on.”

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