18 August 2005

Now cops arrest harassment victim


A resident of The Green in Dunmurry who has experienced persistent anti-social behaviour, theft, and verbal abuse over a number of months was arrested by police on Monday for standing up to the thugs who have been harassing him.

At around midnight on Sunday, youths began racing on scooters up and down the area near Dunmurry Lane, keeping residents awake and causing havoc in the area.

The resident – who doesn’t wish to be named – came out to ask the youths to leave, but they refused and became aggressive. He found himself embroiled in a scuffle with one, but walked away.

Around 20 minutes later, the PSNI arrived and arrested the man for assault with a weapon. Although no weapon was found and witnesses confirmed to police that he had neither instigated the attack nor used any weapon, he was later charged at Lisburn police station. Speaking to the Andersonstown News last night, the Dunmurry man explained: “I’m in shock at what happened.”

He continued: “This harassment by the same group of youths has being going on for months and we’re all at our wits’ end here,” he said.

“My next door neighbour is a female doctor who spoke to the police and passed on the number plates of the scooters involved, but nothing was done about it. She’s been tormented too with eggs, beer bottles, she’s had them urinating in her garden, but the police have done nothing for her.

“The youths actually stood there laughing and jeering as I was arrested. My neighbours were shocked.”

Residents in the area have recorded a number of incidents which have occurred in the area over the past number of months, including assault by youths carrying golf clubs, theft of items from their properties, drinking, anti-social behaviour and verbal abuse.

The accused resident added: “I’m no snob, but I’ve worked hard to be able to live in a nice property in what I thought was a nice area, and then this happens. You just feel like it’s a no-win situation.

“I’ve asked them why they don’t go and drink and urinate outside their own houses and harass their own parents, but of course it doesn’t happen like that.”

Sinn Féin councillor Paul Butler last night expressed outrage at the arrest.
“This shows what passes for policing in this area,” he said. “Here we have a man arrested and charged with confronting someone outside his house and the people who’ve been harassing him and his neighbours for months get off scot-free.”

He continued: “The police need to get their priorities right. There’s been a lot of criticism lately in the wake of the rape on the Blacks Road. They need to get their act together.

“Yesterday I spoke to residents in the area who have been tormented for months and have reported incidents but got no response. Then this happens. It doesn’t make sense.”

Journalist:: Laura McDaid

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