Residents form Neighbourhood Watch

BELEAGUERED Laurencetown residents are to set up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in a bid to tackle troublesome youths in their area.

Locals and police are set to join together in an attempt to put a stop to the verbal abuse, stone-throwing and graffiti which has blighted the area in recent months.

One female resident said the move is one which must be supported by everyone in the community. “We are pleased about this development,” said the pensioner.

“At least now we all have one point of contact if anything starts up outside and hopefully that will mean the police can get here in time to catch some of these young people in the act.”

Police confirmed to the Leader that they know who many of the group are and assured residents they will take action against these individuals.

“A number of individuals responsible for antisocial behaviour have been identified and they will be dealt with appropriately,” said a police spokeswoman.

A 15-year-old boy was due to appear in Banbridge Youth Court yesterday (Monday) on criminal damages charges relating to graffiti at Millar Park earlier this month but at the time of going to print the court service said they had no record of anyone due to appear on those charges.

While another local man said he had hoped for an increase in police patrols in the area, a PSNI spokeswoman could not confirm this.

“Local officers along with other agencies have met with a representative of the local community association and devised a multi agency action plan to tackle this type of crime,” said the spokeswoman. “All Police patrols will continue to give this area attention at key times.

“We thank the local community for their support so far and would encourage them to continue to reports incidents to us as they occur so that we can respond as quickly as possible.”