Residents act against anti-social behaviour

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Residents act against anti-social behaviour thumbnailCOUNCILLORS Charlie Casey and Gary Stokes, MP Mickey Brady and Kerri Morrow (DEA Officer) all spoke at the meeting called by residents of Barcroft Park

YOUNG people who are "drinking and urinating" at Raymond McCreesh Park have been met by a united front of condemnation from the Barcroft and Ballybot communities.

Over 100 residents from the Newry areas held a community meeting aimed at tackling the lack of street cleaning and anti-social behaviour in the areas.

The meeting, which was held last Tuesday (July 4) in Barcroft Community Centre, was attended by local politicians, council officers and residents.

Key issues arising from the meeting included the lack of proper street cleaning in the areas, the lack of clarity around who cleans what, anti-social behaviour at Raymond McCreesh Park and the increased level of privately rented accommodation.

Anti-social behaviour was discussed at length during the community meeting as a number of speakers raised their concerns over the Raymond McCreesh Park issue.

While residents accepted that police were not completely unresponsive, they felt they were simply "moving the problem around".

Following the meeting Sergeant Gibson explained that the PSNI are working day and daily with partner agencies and communities on issues of concern.

"We understand the adverse effect anti-social behaviour can have on a community and we continue to work with other agencies and members of the community to find solutions," added Sergeant Gibson.

The Head of Refuse and Cleansing of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council attended the meeting, along with other council officers, to listen to the concerns of the residents regarding street cleaning.

The council has confirmed that the areas are cleaned on a weekly basis by a mechanical sweeper but are prepared to provide support for community clean up initiatives in the future.

A spokesperson for the council said: "The council considers that the cleansing issues in Barcroft are largely as a result of anti-social behaviour in the area.

"Whilst regular cleansing in the area masks this issue it does not resolve the issue.

"At the meeting there was a general consensus that improved partnership working between residents and the council and between the council and other statutory bodies such as PSNI and NIHE will be req u i re d .

"In terms of cleansing specifically, the council will provide support for community clean up initiatives and will continue to provide cleansing and enforcement in the area.

"The council looks forward to engaging with the local community and working in partnership to improve the area as a whole." SDLP councillor Gary Stokes, who was present at the meeting, said that residents feel "totally neglected" by statutory agencies such as the council, PSNI and the Housing Executive.

"While Barcroft has changed much over the last 20 years there is still a tremendous community spirit," added Councillor Stokes.

"From a broader perspective this is exactly the sort of community who voted for the Good Friday Agreement 20 years ago in hope for a better future.

"The better future has still to be delivered."


Subscribe to read full newspaper »

Send to a friend

Please complete the following form to inform a friend about this page.

In order to process your information we must ask you to enter the letters in the image into the box:

CAPTCHA Image play audio version Reload Image

* Mandatory field - please complete