Belfast Telegraph

Call for more police patrols in Derry after third 'punishment' attack in week

Moss Park in Derry’s Galliagh estate, where a man was shot on Monday
Moss Park in Derry’s Galliagh estate, where a man was shot on Monday
Donna Deeney

By Donna Deeney

Residents in a Londonderry estate where a man was shot in the legs have voiced concern at the ease in which paramilitaries appear to operate on their streets.

The victim, aged in his 30s, was injured in the apparent dissident republican attack on Monday night.

It is the third such incident in under a week.

Residents rushed to the aid of the man, who was left in Moss Park in the Galliagh area, and stemmed the flow of blood from his wounds with towels until an ambulance arrived.

Monday night's attack comes after another man, also in his 30s, was shot in the legs in nearby Brookdale Park.

A woman was also attacked in her home by three masked men, who hit her with a hammer while her three young children slept upstairs.

Residents have called for more police patrols in the area.

One woman said there is an issue with anti-social behaviour and drug dealing, and people want to see police tackle these crimes.

She said: "People are sick about the way Galliagh is being portrayed, this is the third time in the space of a week where there has been a punishment attack. I think most people are like me, they don't want gunmen going about shooting people or beating up the mother of three wee children.

"The reality is, though, the police aren't here enough, the way these boys were able to turn up and shoot people whenever they like this week tells its own story."

Tommy McCourt, chairman of the Rosemount Resource Centre in Derry, said his organisation advocates non-violence at all times.

He said: "What we are being told is that pressure is being put on some of these groups because these problems are not being dealt with in the normal way.

"We have constantly made the point to them that while we can understand the reason why they want to deal with anti-social behaviour or whatever, we would argue that there is a better way of doing this.

"If these punishment attacks work, they would have worked in the past, but they didn't."

Superintendent Gordon McCalmont said police needed assistance from the public.

He said: "My colleagues are committed to tackling all types of violence and we will continue to focus our efforts on catching those responsible for these despicable, cruel acts.

"We will continue to work in partnership with local agencies, residents and community representatives.

"We need support from the public in providing us with the information we require to bring the perpetrators to justice."

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