Anti social behaviour on rise in Buncrana

Anti social behaviour is on the rise in Buncrana with reports youngsters are terrorising people, damaging property and stealing, the ‘Journal’ can reveal.

At Wednesday’s Buncrana town council meeting, councillors heard how Buncrana’s Youth Drop-In Centre is deeply concerned about the problem.

They’ve written a letter to Buncrana’s Superintendent Kevin English requesting a meeting urgently to address the issues.

The letter, written by Andrew Garvey-Williams, chairperson of the Buncrana Drop -In Centre, was also sent to Deputy Mayor, Michael Grant, who read it out at the council meeting.

In it, it stated: “The anti social behaviour appears to involve a limited number of youngsters.

“Many of those concerned are known to us and use the drop-in centre - although our influence outside the building is obviously limited.

“Having spoken to a number of your officers we know they are also aware of this issue and serious nature of the behaviour which includes, throwing objects at passing cars, abusive and foul language, damaging property, stealing, climbing on rocks and lamp posts and intimidating passers-by.

“A number of complaints have been made by members of the public to us and to the Plaza management and to the Garda station.

“The behaviour is clearly causing distress, annoyance and concern about potential serious accidents.

“We’re grateful of the support of your officers when we have alerted them to problem behaviour, both in the and around the drop-in centre, and are aware that they have regularly attended and patrolled the Main Street in response to the situation.

“Our concern is to find an appropriate cross-agency, cross-community response to the problems and ensure that the situation does not deteriorate further.”

Mr Garvey-Williams said the drop-in centre wanted to deal with the root issues and aim to see young people fully rehabilitated and encouraged to ‘become valued members of our community’.

He added: “An effective solution would also require the support and co-operation of the families of these young people, so we would like to propose a meeting as soon as possible with representatives of those involved or affected and those who might help pave the way forward.”

Deputy Mayor Grant distributed a letter to each councillor and said the council know the value of the drop-in centre and it’s ‘unfortunate there are people out there that don’t want to participate with the positive aspects of it’.

Councillor Joe Doherty proposed the council write a letter back to the group informing them that a Joint Policing Committee will be held soon, suggesting it was an appropriate forum to discuss the issue.