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PSNI need ‘old style community policing' to tackle anti-social behaviour

SDLP councillor Tim Attwood said it was "not acceptable" that residents were being subjected to such behaviour 
Marie Louise McConville

THE PSNI was last night urged to return to "old style community policing" in a bid to clamp down on anti-social elements who have been gathering on an almost nightly basis in a west Belfast neighbourhood.

Residents living in Lenadoon have taken to Facebook to reveal the extent to which their lives are being affected by groups of young people gathering near homes.

On Wednesday night, one community organisation noted: "Tonight again residents living around the park in Lenadoon being tortured by crowds playing loud music and burning residents bins, we contacted the cops earlier and they went in and moved them but they have returned. We have contacted cops again, these people need to wise up and start respecting the community".

On Monday night, a similar status read: "We are getting reports from residents that crowds yet again in Lenadoon park playing loud music and burning bins we have contacted cops, residents are angry about this and rightly so, its been going on for to long, we will continue to work with residents to help try and sort it".

Residents have also noted their own experiences with one commenting: "Got my bin stolen earlier went over till the park with my big son and got it back just before they set it on fire".

Another added: "They have emptied bins out in front of residents homes so they can throw them over the gates".

SDLP councillor Tim Attwood said it was "not acceptable" that residents were being subjected to such behaviour.

Mr Attwood also revealed that the PSNI's TSG (Tactical Support Group) unit were "walking around" the area on Saturday night.

"People want visible policing," he said.

"They want to see foot patrols because that is preventative policing".

The SDLP councillor called for "old style community policing"

"Police on the ground need to stop big crowds gathering," he said.

Sinn Fein councillor, Stephen Magennis said the Greater Andersonstown Safer Neighbourhood project and local representatives had been working to address issues about anti-social behaviour,

"We cannot have anti-social behaviour blighting the lives of residents and as such the PSNI must ensure that residents, their homes and properties are safeguarded.

The PSNI said it would continue "focusing our patrols in the days ahead to keep everyone in the community safe". Police also asked parents to ensure they know where their children are.

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