Belfast Telegraph

Children using Glider service to launch sectarian attacks at west Belfast interface

A Glider in Belfast
A Glider in Belfast

Children are using the glider bus service to launch sectarian attacks on residents of a west Belfast interface area.

Gangs of young people are using the service to bring them to the area between the Suffolk estate and Lenadoon.

Youths are gathering at the nationalist side of the interface and attacking residents of the small, mainly unionist Suffolk estate, the Irish News has reported.

Residents said the young people are being transported to the area, attacking homes and elderly residents, before returning home on the last Glider service at around 11pm each evening.

Mother-of-two Kirsty McCormic told the Irish News: "I have an eight-year-old and five-year-old who are asking what the fighting is about, they are asking what sectarian words mean, words they wouldn't know or hear otherwise."

"We're constantly phoning police, the ones responsible are standing right beside the station, the police can see them.

"If I try and use the shop on the Stewartstown Road I'm having abuse and stones thrown at me. I can't even be terrified for myself because I've two children to worry about."

Residents said they are worried someone is going to be killed if the behaviour continues - despite the interface facing Woodbourne Police Station.

Carol Anderson said: "My children go to integrated school, my daughter is involved in cross-community youth work, they weren't brought up with this kind of sectarianism.

"The police should be dealing with this, it shouldn't be left to us every night."

Police said they received two reports of anti-social behaviour in the area on Tuesday night.

PSNI Sergeant Lloyd said: "It was reported that youths were throwing stones in the area, however when officers attended the area the youths had dispersed.

"We are aware of ongoing issues of anti-social behaviour occurring in and around the Stewartstown Road between Lenadoon and the Suffolk Estate recently, because of this we are increasing patrols in the area.

"I would encourage anyone who has been affected by anti-social behaviour to report the matter to police by calling 101 so that we can investigate every incident.

"I would also encourage parents to make sure they know what their children are doing and where they are during the school holidays."

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