Local DUP MLA Sydney Anderson, a former member of the Stormont Justice Committee, and his colleague Councillor Jonathan Buckley have highlighted their serious concerns regarding the occurrence of criminal damage and arson incidents within the Upper Bann constituency during the period of June 2015 to the end of May 2016.
“In recent weeks I have received information that informs me that over a twelve month period in the region of 1,300 incidents of criminal damage and arson were reported to the PSNI in the Upper Bann area, including Portadown, Craigavon, Banbridge and Lurgan,” said Mr Anderson. “Notably, criminal damage is defined by the police as intentional and malicious damage to the home, vehicles, or other property and also includes graffiti.
“I am shocked to learn of the high frequency that such incidents are occurring in the local area and I am particularly angered that those who engage in such criminal activity are inflicting a continual blight on our local communities.
“I would commend the PSNI for their efforts in tackling this major problem relating to criminal damage and arson, but I do believe that more must be done to tackle this scourge head on. It is vital that the community as a whole unite together to fight this problem. In particular the PSNI, the new ABC Policing and Community Safety Partnership, Neighbourhood Watch Groups and other community groups have an important duty to be vigilant and help to challenge the mindless individuals and groups who engage in such destructive activities. I hope to meet the PSNI in the coming days to discuss this matter further to see what more can be done to help make our communities safer.”
Cllr Buckley added: “These figures are particularly worrying because the high occurrence of such incidents would not only consume a significant amount of police time, but also causes much distress.”
We would urge anyone with information relating to such criminal actions or who has concerns relating to suspicious activity to contact the PSNI.”