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Watch: Shocking footage of west Belfast 'death drivers' crashing stolen cars before police give chase

By Jonny Bell

Published 07/09/2016

A video has emerged showing death drivers putting their lives and the safety of their community at risk.

The video was posted on Facebook on Tuesday.

It shows two cars, thought to be stolen, being driven erratically in front of a group of youths.

The police then show up in an unmarked car and attempted to catch those behind the wheel.

One of those in a car can be seen making off on foot.

It's believed the incident happened in the past week in the Ross Road residential area off the Falls Road.

By Wednesday morning, the video has been viewed over 170,000 times.

Many have blamed the notorious 'Divis Hoods' group which has been blamed for numerous car thefts and death driving incidents.

It is not thought anyone was injured.

Police said they of the aware of video "showing an appalling example of death driving in the Divis area".

A police statement said: "Shortly after this incident was filmed, police responding to reports of two vehicles being driven dangerously in the Albert Street and Ross Road areas shortly before 4pm, arrested a 15 year old male.

"The two vehicles, a blue coloured Kia reported stolen in the Linenhall Street area of Belfast earlier that afternoon and a silver coloured Honda reported stolen in the Nutts Corner area earlier that day were subsequently recovered by Police.

"Later that evening, the police Auto Crime Team pursued, stopped and recovered three vehicles, one of which had been stolen in a burglary and made three arrests for a range of offences including, aggravated taking and driving away, dangerous driving, driving whilst unfit through drugs, possession of drugs and failing to stop for police."

Belfast councillor Tim Attwood said: "The behaviour on display here is reckless and dangerous in the extreme.

"Any one of the bystanders could have been injured as the cars are thrown around the street like toys.

"I’m glad the police were able to respond quickly to the reports and I would encourage anyone with information about this criminal behaviour to come forward.”

Sinn Fein West Belfast MP Paul Maskey has said a robust response was needed from the police and the courts to tackle car crime.

He said: "This shocking footage shows the complete disregard these car criminals have for the community in west Belfast.

"Thankfully no one appears to have been injured but unfortunately this community knows all too well the pain and misery car crime can have.

"We need to see a robust response from the PSNI in tackling car crime and the judiciary also have a key role in helping to eradicate this menace, particularly in the treatment of persistent offenders."

Local Policing Commander Chief Inspector Norman Haslett said: "There have been a number of recently reported incidents where vehicles have been stolen from properties elsewhere and then driven dangerously in the Lower Falls and in other areas of West Belfast.

"Local police officers and the specialist Auto Crime Team, supported by colleagues from our Operational Support Department and the police helicopter are responding to community concerns.

"We have and will continue to take stolen cars off the streets, arrest offenders and bring them before the courts – two further stolen vehicles were recovered by police only yesterday. Death drivers are nothing but a blight on the community of West Belfast and they have nothing to offer but death, injury and destruction. They have little or no thought for the local community or for the consequences of their actions which are reckless in the extreme.

"We are working with the community and have made progress, but we still need the local community to support us in addressing the underlying problems.

"We are committed to working in partnership with the community to reduce anti-social behaviour and death-driving. If anyone has any information linked to community safety issues, please contact us on 101 or anonymously through independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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