Joyriders who stole a workman’s van have been witnessed speeding through a Derry estate before trying to ram it into the local shop.
Residents and local Councillors for the Galliagh area have expressed anger and frustration at the latest in a series of incidents on the estate on Tuesday night.
This is the latest in a series of incidents of joyriding through the area by youths, who have also targeted the Spar shop, which is known locally as ‘the Co Op’.
Derry Sinn Fein Councillor Sandra Duffy said a robust response is needed to deal with car criminals “who are causing havoc in Galliagh and putting local lives in danger”.
Councillor Duffy said: “Once again we had car criminals on the streets of Galliagh causing havoc, putting resident’s lives in danger and leaving a local person without their works vehicle.
“The stolen vehicle was driven recklessly around Galliagh before crashing into the front of the Co Op.
“These car criminals have absolutely no regard for the people of this area.
“What is needed is a robust response and what I mean by that is those responsible for striking fear into the community need taken off our streets and brought before the courts.
“The PSNI need to make this a priority before someone is killed and there also needs to be a cross border strategy with An Garda Síochána as these gangs are also using the back roads network between Derry and Donegal to carry out their death riding.”
SDLP Councillor Brian Tierney meanwhile said: “The actions of those who decided it was a good idea to steal a local man’s work van drive it around the Galliagh area, in a crazy manner and crash it into the Co-op is totally and utterly unbelievable.
“These actions affect the entire community, which these people seem to have no respect for.
“Parents please have a word with your children and make sure they are not involved in this behaviour.”
Police have confirmed they received a report that a vehicle had been stolen and was being driven erratically in the Galliagh area at around 11pm.
Sergeant McCollum said: “This vehicle – a white Ford Transit van – then collided with the gable wall of a shop in the Galliagh Park area. Officers attended the scene and NIFRS extinguished a small fire inside the van. There was some minor damage to the bodywork of the van but none to the wall of the business . No-one was injured in the incident.
“The van was seen around 10.40pm heading towards the Fairview road and it was reported that two males were inside. I would appeal to anyone who was in the area and saw this van between 10.30pm and 11.15pm to contact police on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 1570 of 5/6/18.
“Alternatively information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”