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Youths attack centre during DPP meeting

By Sam McBride

Youths have attacked a community centre while a District Policing Partnership (DPP) meeting took place inside.

The public meeting of Castlereagh DPP was held at Dungoyne Community Centre in the Ballybeen estate.

As police fielded questions about the problem of anti-social behaviour in the area, stones were thrown at a fire escape door.

A police officer was dispatched to investigate and the meeting continued.

Some time later, as police were pressed on why youths were illegally riding high-powered quad and scrambler bikes, the sound of a revving quad bike made it difficult to make out what was being said.

During the meeting members probed police about their response to reports of anti-social behaviour.

Alderman Jim White said the scrambler and quad bikes were riding on footpaths with impunity across the area.

He said the vehicles were being used "to run down to the shops" as well as racing.

Inspector Derek Martin said that often the offenders had made off by the time police arrived.

"The fact is it's a criminal offence to ride these vehicles without licences and insurance," he said.

Chief Inspector Stephen Addley said: "In practical terms it is difficult to catch them."

Councillor David Drysdale urged police to consider using motorcycles to catch the scramblers.

Belfast Telegraph


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