Anger over hijacking and incineration of contractors' vans and fears housing works will be be delayed

The van burned at the bottom of the flyover this afternoon.
The van burned at the bottom of the flyover this afternoon.

Sinn Féin Councillor for the Creggan and Bogside, Kevin Campbell, has described as 'despicable' the actions of those behind the hijacking of at least two vans belonging to a contractor used by the Housing Executive to carry out rolling maintenance work in the area.

Colr. Campbell said he fears maintenance works at homes could be suspended in the wake of the incident, which saw one of the vans set alight at the bottom of the flyover shortly before rush hour on Tuesday.

Police have confirmed that they are dealing with what appears to be the hijacking of a van at the bottom of Lecky Road.

The PSNI stated: "This vehicle has been set alight but has been extinguished by Fire Service. We are currently advising to avoid the area of the Lecky Flyover/Lecky Road."

"It's absolutely disgraceful," said Colr. Campbell. "Can these people come forward and tell the local community what this is all about?"

"They are wrecking and breaking in their own community. That's who they are hurting," said the Sinn Féin representative, who warned that programmed maintenance works in the Bogside, Brandywell and Creggan will likely be delayed as a result of the hijackings sustained by the contractor.

The Creggan councillor said it is dispiriting that in a week when Derry is gearing up for the Clipper festival and on a day when the Gasyard Féile 2018 was launched that it is public disorder that is being reported on news bulletins in Dublin, Belfast and London.

"It's lowering the whole tone of what we are trying to do in this city in terms of attracting jobs, tourism and investment," he said.

"We are welcoming the Clipper festival to the city and we have had the launch today of the Gasyard Féile, which runs programmes to communities all over these areas, this is the message that should be going out. What's happened this afternoon is despicable."