Safety wardens are withdrawn

Derry & Strabane Council have confirmed that community safety wardens have been withdrawn from the Galliagh area after a team came under attack there at the weekend.

Entrance to the Galliagh estate.
Entrance to the Galliagh estate.

Ratepayers will now have to foot the bill for the damage caused to a vehicle used by the wardens, after it was pelted with stones by youths in Galliagh Park on Friday night.

Local councillors have condemned the attack , which occurred while the team of wardens were patrolling the area.

A council spokesperson said: “While no one was injured in the incident, wardens have been withdrawn from the area until it is deemed safe for them to return to their regular duties.

“Minor damage was caused to their vehicle, the cost of which will now have to be covered by local ratepayers.”

Appealing for anyone with information to pass it to the police, she added: “Council would like to take this opportunity to utterly condemn the attack and would call on those responsible to be mindful that community safety wardens play a vital role protecting everyone within the local community.

“We would call on the public to support them in their positive work in maintaining order and promoting good relations within local community areas.”

Sinn Féin Councillor Caoimhe McKnight said residents were “rightly outraged” after the council wardens were “shaken up.”

“The wardens are out late at night dealing with all sorts of incidents across our city and are a lifeline for many people in their hour of need,” she said.

SDLP Ballyarnett Councillors Angela Dobbins and Brian Tierney , in a joint statement, said: “The purpose of the wardens are to protect the more vulnerable in our community and this service has now had to be withdrawn due to the criminal actions of a few.”