Deadly ‘chicken’ game and home attacks sparks call for more patrols

SDLP Councillor Angela Dobbins.

SDLP Councillor Angela Dobbins.

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Children gathering in Culmore have been spotted playing a deadly game of ‘chicken’ with a bus and attacking homes, a local Councillor has warned.

SDLP Councillor Angela Dobbins has now called for PSNI patrols to be stepped up following a wave of anti-social activity across the area, which has escalated over recent days.

Last Friday, a young man who was part of a gang ran out into the road and lay down in front of a bus in front of his friends.

Colr. Dobbins said the bus was travelling through the Culmore Point Road area when the driver noticed the youth leaving his friends and lying down in the path of the oncoming vehicle.

“The driver reactively sounded his horn and flashed the lights but the youth casually got up and joined his friends on the pavement,” Colr. Dobbins said.

“On pulling up alongside the youths the young lad looked at the driver defiantly as if he had done nothing wrong.

“This driver has been left shaken and deeply concerned by this episode. It was dark and the young man was in dark clothes and there was only 100 yards for that driver to realise what was happening before him.”

She added: “I was horrified to learn of this incident, the outcome could have been so very different.”

Colr Dobbins urges parents to press upon their children the dangers of ‘bravado’ acts and that playing ‘chicken’ or acting ‘big’ in front of friends is only putting their lives and the lives of others in danger.

Families and pensioners in the area, she said, have been also been left traumatised over recent days by the actions of youth who “get their kicks terrorising the residents in their community”.

Speaking about incidents over the past few nights, she said: “Pelting houses with eggs and mud may seem harmless to them but the victims of these attacks have been left frightened and feeling completely helpless.

“This is now becoming a regular occurrence and these youths are mostly under 14 years of age.”

She added: “Following the incident of playing ‘chicken’ with the local bus, I am pleading with parents to explain to their children the consequences of such actions and the distress it is having to those on the receiving end and, how a possible police record will impact any future plans they may have.”