A gang of youths, some of them masked and armed with iron bars, who went on a wrecking spree at a Creggan business park this week, have been caught on CCTV.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the gang - at times numbering up to 25 - damaged gates at Rath Mor Business Park, scrawled graffiti on walls and stole dozens of wooden pallets for a bonfire.
It’s believed the youths are collecting material for a bonfire in the Bogside.
Several business premises were targeted in the raid.
Some of the gang’s activities have been captured on closed circuit television.
Conal McFeely, of Creggan Enterprises, says the thefts and vandalism have caused “serious inconvenience” to local businesses.
He says it has also alarmed older residents who live in secure accommodation on the site.
“These young people are endangering themselves by scaling walls and fencing to break into businesses,” he said.
“They are then costing these businesses their hard-earned money by damaging properties and stealing materials, and they are also distressing the residents of Brickfield into the bargain.”
Mr. McFeely, who was threatened by the gang when he tried to intervene, added: ‘I, and a number of business owners from the park, challenged these young people and they ran off. We want to ensure, however, that there is absolutely no repetition of this behaviour as we approach the summer months.
“We would appeal directly to the young people to consider the harm they are doing to their community and to respect local businesses.
‘We would also ask parents, community groups working with young people, and the statutory organisations to help us nip this problem in the bud.”