Arson and vandalism to top public meeting agenda in Killyleagh

Arson and vandalism to top public meeting agenda in Killyleagh

24 November 2021

RECENT trouble in Killyleagh will top the agenda at a public meeting in the town tonight.

Representatives from a number of organisations will join Rowallane councillor Billy Walker who has organised the meeting which starts at 8pm in St John’s Hall in Church Hill.

The meeting to discuss increasing anti-social behaviour and arson attacks will be attended by the PSNI, Housing Executive, Education Authority and representatives from the district’s Policing and Community Safety Partnership.

Cllr Walker is also encouraging people from across the town to attend the event and confirmed that social distancing measures will be in place.

Tonight’s meeting takes place after two recent arson attacks at Frederick Street in Killyleagh when a builder’s skip filled with rubbish and a  camper van were destroyed in two separate arson attacks.

Several weeks ago, two properties at the Annsfield estate in Killyleagh were targeted by arsonists while there has been ongoing anti-social behaviour across the town for some time.

Cllr Walker — who has called for increased police patrols in the town — said a stand needed to be taken against the troublemakers “who are being allowed to run amok”.

He said tonight’s meeting “presents an opportunity for people to have their say and express their concerns about the recent trouble”.

Cllr Walker said continuing anti-social behaviour must end and he hoped that the meeting will be able to come up with a constructive way forward to deal with the issue which is making the lives of many people a misery.

“People are sick, sore and tired of what’s happening and we need to bring this trouble to an end. Sadly, as a result of what has been happening recently, a number of elderly residents feel extremely vulnerable in their own homes and this is no way for them to live,” he said.

Cllr Walker said there was also concern that those responsible for the trouble can “literally do what they want, without fear of being of caught”.

He has also issued a fresh appeal to anyone who knows who is responsible for the anti-social behaviour and recent arson attacks to inform police.

“Those who get a perverse kick out of causing misery and mayhem need to feel the full force of the law,” he declared.

“There is a lot of frustration at what is happening in Killyleagh and people want to see this worrying issue addressed. The trouble has been going on for quite some time and residents are looking to the police to do more. 

“There has been a litany of incidents and it appears that the troublemakers are able to operate with impunity. This must no longer be the case.”

Cllr Walker said that while it was important that people make their views known at this evening’s meeting, it was also important that they hear what the representatives from the various agencies have to say.

He added: “It is important that we channel the frustration about what is happening in Killyleagh in a positive way and work alongside other agencies to bring about an end to this trouble. We all want this cycle of trouble to stop.”