Attack on elderly siblings in Drumsurn prompts safety drive

Sinn Fein councillors Sean McGlinchey and Brenda Chivers with PSNI officers in Drumsurn on Tuesday.
Sinn Fein councillors Sean McGlinchey and Brenda Chivers with PSNI officers in Drumsurn on Tuesday.

An attack on elderly siblings in Drumsurn which struck fear among older residents has prompted a community safety drive.

The attack, which targeted pensioners in the Beech Road area, occurred in the early hours of Monday.

Damage after the fire

Damage after the fire

The property’s hedge was set on fire, twice, and the windows of the house were banged on between 12.30am and 3.30am.

Local Sinn Fein councillor, Brenda Chivers, said had it not been for the swift actions of a neighbour who spotted the fire and put it out, there could have been serious consequences.

The woman who lives at the house with her brother said it was a “frightening” experience which left both of them fearful.

The woman said she and her brother have been left badly shaken by the ordeal, and she appealed to those responsible to leave them alone.

“It was very frightening, and I’m scared now in case they come back. It’s a bad job when you’re scared in your own house,” added the woman.

In response, local representatives and PSNI officers went door-to-door in the village on Tuesday night.

Colr. Chivers, who lives in the village, said it was unfortunate such action had to be taken, but she said it was necessary, especially to reassure older residents living on their own.

“We had a really good response,” said Colr. Chivers.

“Following what happened, people are concerned.

“Usually, Drumsurn is a very quiet village; everyone knows each other.

“I think it’s important to stress this has been an isolated, one-off incident, that, hopefully, will not be repeated and I don’t think whoever was responsible is from the area, at least you would like to think they’re not from the area.”

Colr. Chivers said people were shocked and annoyed about the attack.

“These people are so private, and keep to themselves and people don’t understand why they were targeted,” she said.

Colr. Chivers said the door-to-door exercise on Tuesday was “a good example of community policing along with public representatives”.

“It does no harm to do these things but, obviously, we wouldn’t want to have to do it on a regular basis,” said Colr. Chivers. “It’s good to see police in the community and engaging with residents; hearing they’re concerns.”

Colr. Chivers added: “I appeal to locals to keep an eye on vulnerable neighbours especially as we enter the summer months when this type of vandalism would be in the increase.”