Belfast Telegraph

Derry carjacking crimewave sparks calls for ‘zero tolerance’ crackdown

By Colin George

A series of attempted hijackings in Londonderry has led to a call for a zero tolerance approach to car crime in the city.

Police were called to the Trench Road area in the early hours of Saturday morning.

A number of reports of car thefts and an attempted carjacking were made.

Four arrests were made at the scene after the alleged attempted hijacking and attempted car thefts, prompting calls for residents to step up the security around their vehicles.

It’s believed a number of cars had also been targeted in the Knockwellan Park, Poplar Road and Gelvin Grange areas in separate incidents in the early hours of Friday.

Now a former city mayor has said it’s time to crack down hard on car crime.

SDLP councillor Gerard Diver (right) condemned the spate of vandalism and urged people who live in the locations involved to be “extra vigilant”.

“In light of all the good that’s happened in the city recently this kind of behaviour is not what we want to hear.

“The people suffering here are those innocent people who are trying to get on with their everyday lives and they have a right to do that without being scared about becoming a target for this kind of criminal.

“I feel very sorry for the people affected by these latest car crimes.

“I’m sure the last thing Waterside residents want is to see this kind of thing happening outside their doors with police, and police helicopters forced to attend in the middle of the night.

“This kind of thing has to be tackled with a zero tolerance approach,” he added.

A man and woman have appeared at a special sitting of Londonderry Magistrate's Court charged in connection with Saturday’s incidents.

Hannah Kerrigan (24) and Liam McCavana (18) both of no fixed abode, were charged with attempting to hijack a BMW and a Vauxhall Vectra.

Both were also charged with assaulting police.

The PSNI helicopter was deployed during the operation on Saturday.

The cars were parked in the Trench Road and Hollymount areas of Derry.

Mr McCavana, of no fixed abode in Belfast, was charged with assaulting two police officers.

Ms Kerrigan, of no fixed abode in Derry, was also charged with possessing two knives and with assaulting a police officer.

There was no bail application granted and both defendants were remanded in custody for a video link hearing on September 12.

Two other people, an 18-year-old woman and 23-year-old man who were arrested during the same police operation, have been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

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