The manager of Dove House in Derry has warned that young vandals who have targeted the centre are harming their own families and communities.
Bronagh McMenamin was speaking following the latest episode in which youths tried to set fire to materials piled up against the premises last Tuesday night. The youths also knocked coping stones off a side wall.
The attack is the latest in a series to occur at the premises. Ms McMenamin said: “It’s ongoing and it is just not on.
“The community here is being subjected to fires and all sorts. With this latest incident here, it comes just a few weeks after another episode. We have grills in the windows and one of the bottom ones at the Advice Office had been ripped off and the window smashed.
“A local man came out and put the grill back on at 4am, because he knew if he didn’t the building would be broken in to. We are seeing one thousand people coming through here for advice alone. If anything happened there would be a loss of service.”
The centre manager added that petrol bombs were discovered recently outside the building.
“My concern is if this building was burnt down or was to be severely damaged it would result in a loss of services for the community. We have a DLA waiting list for four weeks as it stands now and with this new PIP coming in it’s going to get worse. We have a domestic abuse service and a vulnerable older person’s project. It’s a lifeline for a lot of people. Those doing this are only damaging their own families and their own community.”
She said it was difficult to intervene in many cases as a lot of the young people involved in the trouble were not from the area, with no way of tracing their parents.