‘Reckless in the extreme’: ‘Mindless’ driving incidents across Derry overnight

PSNI Chief Inspector Alan Hutton.
PSNI Chief Inspector Alan Hutton.

Local PSNI Chief Alan Hutton has confirmed there has been multiple reports of cars being driven recklessly across Derry’s cityside in the early hours of this morning.

Reports have been made to the police from areas including Strand Road, Galliagh and Glendale, with police also investigating a video shared on social media which appears to show youths filming others doing dangerous handbrake turn-type manoeuvres at the bottom of Shipquay Street last night.

Chief Inspector Hutton said: “During the early hours of this morning, between 1am and around 1:30am, we received multiple reports from members of the public concerned about cars being driven in a dangerous manner in the city side.

“These included reports of a dark-coloured car doing handbrake turns in the middle of Strand Road and at the bottom of Shipquay Street.

“A dark-coloured car was also reported to have been driven in the grass area in Galliagh Park and then set alight near a local shop.

“Other calls to us included reports of a small car being driven at speed in the vicinity of Glendale Park and also of dangerous driving in the Knockalla Park area.

“Our enquiries into these incidents are at an early stage, and we are working to establish if they are linked. We are also reviewing video footage posted on a social media platform showing a vehicle being driven dangerously on Shipquay Street.”

Chf. Inspector Hutton warned that police will not hesitate to seize vehicles suspected of being used for such activities.

He said: “I want to state clearly the actions of those responsible for this type of driving can be described as nothing other than mindless and reckless.

“We have been working proactively with local community representatives to tackle concerns around dangerous driving in parts of the city, and our Neighbourhood Teams have been proactive, conducting a number of operations, seizing a number of vehicles, including cars and motor bikes and we will continue to do that.

“We know there is support in the community from people who do not want, or deserve to be subjected to this type of anti-social driving.

“Not only does it have the potential to cause harm, or serious injury to the people who engage in this type of activity, but it can also cause harm to other drivers. It can also lead to convictions where dangerous driving will result in a mandatory disqualification for 12 months minimum.

“This type of anti-social driving is nothing but a blight on the community and the people who engage in this have nothing to offer and have little or no thought for the local community, or for the consequences of their actions, which are reckless in the extreme. Reporting this type of crime is important and I would urge anyone who sees this happening in their area to pick up the phone and report it to us.

“We need the make and registration of the vehicle involved and I can assure the community we will investigate, and if we don’t catch the culprits at the time, we will follow up – there will be no hiding place for them – but we need that information.

“Whether the vehicles involved in this kind of criminal activity are stolen or not, this behaviour is beyond dangerous, reckless and serves no purpose. They don’t think about the local community or for the consequences of their actions, which can and sadly does have a devastating and detrimental impact innocent people.

“I want to appeal to anyone who knows anything about any of these incidents to call us on the non-emergency number quoting reference number 51 of 13/11/18.”

Chief inspector Hutton added: “Police are committed to working in partnership to reduce anti-social behaviour. I am again appealing for anyone who witnesses this type of anti-social driving in their area, to contact us immediately on 999 in an emergency, or on 101 to discuss the issue or share any information linked to community safety issues. Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”