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We’re living under siege: Residents

Residents in an area in Newtownabbey have said they are under siege due to ongoing ‘recreational riots’.

The Glebecoole Way and Church Road area have been blighted by riots organised by teenagers and anti-social behaviour, locals claim.

One resident, who did not want to be named, said people are “absolutely disgusted” by it.

“This has been going on for ages — youths are organising these riots through text and we have to suffer,” he said.

“The whole area is affected by this. When I go for a walk all I see is beer cans lying on the ground from where they have been drinking.

“I was at a meeting the other night and when I came back the panel on my gate was kicked in and it had been up for 40 years.”

He said residents are living in fear of the youths.

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“It is absolutely disgusting. Cars are damaged, property is damaged, they paint on the cars and people’s property.

“One woman won’t even walk out in the street because she is so afraid of them.

“We are under siege. The police must do more to stop this.”

Alderman Nigel Hamilton, who has been assisting the residents with their problems, said: “This has been going on for a protracted period of time. It is an unacceptable level of youths involved in this violence.

“It is organised by these groups of young people through telephone. It is staged violence and it is a big annoyance to residents.

“Houses and vehicles are being damaged by groups of 30 to 40 youths.

“At a police meeting last week there was about 30 residents who turned up, showing the depth of feeling amongst them.

“A lot of them were unhappy with the police’s response. In fairness to the PSNI they have increased their presence in the area.

“Residents don’t feel safe in their own homes — they are under siege.”

Area Commander Chief Inspector Paula Hilman said she is committed to working in partnership with the local community, the District Policing Partnership, Community Safety Partnership and other partnership agencies to try and address the issues which are affecting local residents' quality of life.

“We have increased and focused our patrols and carried out proactive policing operations to detect and deter young people involved in anti-social behaviour in the relevant areas,” she said.

“If young people continue to come to the attention of police then their parents will be advised and police will not hesitate to move toward Acceptable Behavioural Contacts and ASBOs if necessary.

“Underage drinking is also another issue which we will focus on.

“We are closely monitoring the area and are warning those involved in this type of behaviour that anyone caught breaking the law will be dealt with robustly.

“We would also like to take this opportunity to ask parents to make sure they know the whereabouts of their children and to make sure that they are not engaging in any criminal activity or criminal damage to property.

“I would also appeal to local people to ring police at the time to report any incidents, in order to tackle this problem effectively. I know the community want to work with us to tackle these issues and I thank them for their support.”


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