Belfast Telegraph

Call for end to anti-social behaviour after £5500 damage caused to charity building

The Junction, Dungannon
The Junction, Dungannon
Gareth Cross

By Gareth Cross

A Dungannon councillor has called for an end to anti-social behaviour after £5,500 worth of damage was caused to a building used by charities and community groups.

UUP councillor Walter Cuddy issued the plea after windows were broken at The Junction on two separate occasions.

Police have appealed for information after criminal damage at the building on Beechvalley Way on July 10 and August 10.

Both incidents are reported to have occurred in the late evening and police believe that they may be linked.

They've confirmed that they will be upping patrols in the area in an attempt to combat the anti-social behaviour at the building which is near a local park.

The Junction is home to the South Tyrone Empowerment Programme (STEP), Inspire Mental Health and Willowbank.

STEP runs a community honesty cafe within the building.  

Mr Cuddy said that the charities and community groups using the building were performing an important service and should be left to carry out their work in peace.

"They provide a wide range of services for the community and play an important part in the life of the town," he said.

"You never want to see places vandalised and I would ask those involved in this type of behaviour to stop.

"These are not just small windows that are being smashed, they are large panes of glass that will be expensive to replace."

Mr Cuddy said that the organisation's money would be better spent supporting their causes than fixing damage to the building.

"Money that could be spent on local services will now be spent on repairs," the councillor said.

"It's in quite an isolated area and lots of people are known to gather in the nearby park at night, I would ask anyone who sees any anti-social behaviour to report it to police.".

Mr Cuddy said that the facility was used by both sides of the community and helped foreign nationals integrate into the area after moving to Dungannon.

"It's a very good facility that has been a huge help to many people in the area," he said.

"It should be left alone to carry out its good work."

PSNI Constable Carson appealed for anyone with information about the damage to the building to come forward.

"There have been two separate incidents which occurred on 10th July and 10th August. In both incidents, several windows of a commercial premises were smashed causing an estimated £5500 worth of damage.

"Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed these incidents or has information to contact police in Dungannon on 101 quoting reference number 822 12/8/19.

"Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime."

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