13 years on and still ‘no rest for Rosemount’

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Rosemount residents are so “fed up” with anti-social behaviour in the area, one local is to take legal action against the Housing Executive in order to force them to gate an alleyway close to her home.

Julie Jones said that she has been left with no option as 13 years after first calling for ‘alley gating’ nothing has been done to curb a problem, she says, is now affecting her mental health.

This month again the area has been beset with young people drinking alcohol and causing a nuisance between Osborne Street and Baldrick Crescent. Last weekend some Derry City Council Community Safety Wardens were attacked however no injuries were reported.

Mrs Jones, who lives in Osborne Street, said:

“We are not talking about a bad night here, we are talking about a bad month.

“In fact this has been going on for 13 years.

“We were photographed in the Journal complaining about it back then and still nothing has been done.

“Residents agreed that it is time we did something so I’ve instructed my solicitor as such.

“On Monday night I counted 248 people, sometimes there are over 400 gathered outside my house.

“They are drinking and I’ve also seen them use white powder on a number of occasions.

“There have been lulls in the behaviour but you are talking about a steady turnover of kids in 13 years.

“I don’t think it is a kids problem it is a layout issue, these alleyways need gated off.

“We keep having meetings at which we are promised gates but 13 years on there is still no sign of them.

“We’ve asked at every meeting for gates, at every meeting we’ve been told ‘yes’ but there is still no sign of them.”

Mrs. Jones confirmed that in the past her house has even been stoned by youths who she had approached to move away from her home.

“Some of them you can approach and they are polite and do move, sometimes it isn’t like that at all though.

“I work from 5am so there are many times I arrive at work not having slept at all, it can’t go on. This is no way to live.

“It really is affecting my mental health at this stage.

“I’ve considered moving but who would buy a house with this problem on the doorstep?”

When contacted about the issue the NIHE said Housing Executive District Manager Eddie Doherty is aware of the situation and as such attends monthly interagency meetings concerning anti social behaviour in the area.

Mr Doherty stated: “Advice has been given at these meetings on the procedure for closing off Public Rights of Way.

“I have been told that an application has been sent to the Roads Service for alleygating of certain areas in the Rosemount area and I am awaiting the outcome of this application.”

However Roads Service told the the Journal: “To date no formal application has been made to Roads Service.

“There is an alley gating procedure which is usually taken forward by a designated promoter (not Roads Service) who with the agreement of the residents will steer the proposal forward. That procedure outlines the alternatives available to a potential sponsor but they are mainly geared towards dealing with alley gating and entries.

“Osborne Street is a public road and any proposal submitted to Roads Service will be given consideration.”

Derry City Council stressed they will: “Continue to work with all of its partner agencies to address the issues that have arisen in response to the anti-social behaviour at Rosemount this week.”

Mrs. Jones was left wondering: “What exactly will it take for something to be done here?”