A former mayor of Derry has said the Top of the Hill area of Derry is being plagued with vandalism and anti-community behaviour.
Sinn Féin councillor Paul Fleming made the comment after an increase in the number of incidents of vandalism in recent weeks.
He said several wheelie bins have been burned and walls in the area have been daubed with graffiti.
Mr Fleming said; “A number of incidents of anti -community activity have taken place in the Top of the Hill area over the last few weeks. including unsightly graffiti being sprayed on homes, damage to people’s property including the burning of wheelie bins and general nuisance factors such as late night noise.”
He also said the vandalism spree has created additional work for Derry City Council’s cleaning staff. “The burning of the bins has left an awful mess for residents and council staff to clean up,” he said.
Condemning the incidents, colr. Fleming also said the incidents will also cost local residents who have to pay to replace their bins.
“The one thing that I am sure of is that those behind these incidents didn’t burn their own wheelie bins but have subjected others to a financial burden of having to replace their household bin.
“As an area of high deprivation, people can ill afford to be spending money on continually replacing their bins,” he said.
One local resident who contacted the ‘Journal’ said the incidents are tarnishing the image of the area. “There is a lot of good work being done by community groups up here and a lot of good people living here who are disgusted by this.
“It makes the whole place look bad and gives everyone a bad name. All it takes is a small handfull of people to go about with a spray can writing on walls and the whole area starts to look run down.
“Aerosol cans are being burned on the streets and it must be frightening, particularly for older residents, when they explode. No one up here wants this type of behaviour in their area,” she said.
Colr. Fleming, an Assembly candidate in next month’s election, called for anyone with information on the vandalism to contact the police. “The people who were involved need to be held responsible both in financial terms and in terms of their debt to this community for their actions.
“I would urge anyone with information on who are behind these attacks to contact the police,” he said.