Council leaders condemn threats against safety staff

The headquarters of Derry City Council at Strand Road.
The headquarters of Derry City Council at Strand Road.

Party leaders from Derry City Council met with Town Clerk and Chief Executive Sharon O’Connor today to discuss the threat against Council’s Community Safety Warden staff.

The elected members, Councillor Gerard Diver (SDLP), Alderman Drew Thompson (DUP) and Councillor Paul Fleming (SF), were united in their condemnation of the threat and repeated their call for its immediate withdrawal.

Sharon O’Connor, who chaired the meeting, said any allegations against her staff were outrageous and should be condemned outright.

Gerard Diver called on community organisations to unify in their opposition to the threats and help mobilise support for the workers.

Drew Thompson said the threat not only caused concern for the individuals and their families directly involved but had a negative impact on the whole community who depend on the community warden service.

Paul Fleming said it was important that every effort was made to remove the threat.

He said the wardens should be allowed to return to work and continue to serve the communities to “address issues of low level anti-social and nuisance behaviour across urban and rural areas” of the Council area.

The elected members said they welcomed Council‘s approach in dealing with the threats by putting the safety and wellbeing of the affected staff to the fore.

Sharon O’Connor added: “We are calling on community groups, organisations and individuals across our city to actively voice their opposition to these threats and send a clear message back to those responsible for this intimidation that we do not accept this type of behaviour. You, the public, can pledge your opposition to these threats and channel your views through a number of channels and stand behind us as we support the Community Safety Wardens and the excellent service they do serving our communities,” she concluded.