Melmount Road resident airs concern over late night anti-social behaviour

Thursday, 25 May 2017

A LOCAL resident from the Melmount Road area of Strabane has expressed concerns over late night incidents of anti-social behaviour at a retail unit car park located just behind her home.

The home owner, who does not wish to be identified, claims that youths are entering the car park of the retail unit on the Melmount Road and are 'diffing' and creating noise with their cars until the early hours of the morning.

Speaking to the Strabane Weekly News, the resident said the latest incident occurred on Sunday night, adding that such activity has been going on for several years.

Describing Sunday's incident as 'particularly bad', the resident claimed youths were driving their cars around the car park until after 2am on Monday morning.

The resident lives in an area which houses young families as well as nursing homes and fears that someone is going to get hurt should this behaviour continue.

"It's happening on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights and it's going on until two or three in the morning," said the concerned resident.

"It has been going on for three or possibly four years but it was particularly bad on Sunday night. It went on until after two in the morning.

"The noise they are making is keeping people awake who have to go to work in the morning, who have young children of primary school age.

"It's really not fair because people use the bank machine in the retail unit at night as well and someone is going to get hurt."

Calling for greater security measures to be implemented at the retail unit, the resident continued: "They need to put security gates up at the entrance of the retail unit to stop people getting into the car park. I think that would really help the anti-social behaviour.

"Bus companies also use the car park to pick up stag and hen parties which adds to the noise.

"I'm just afraid that someone is going to get hurt if something's not done about it."

Sinn Fein MLA, Michaela Boyle, has called on those causing this 'reckless' behaviour to stop.

She said: "I would condemn the actions of those involved in revving and racing their cars late at night on the Melmount Road which is creating problems and upset for those living in the area.

"This reckless behaviour is waking people out of their sleep in the middle of the night and is occurring on a regular basis at the weekends.

"I've been in touch with the PSNI and have asked them to closely monitor the area and would also ask those involved to stop and actually think of what they are doing to those living in the area."

Meanwhile, SDLP MLA., Daniel McCrossan, commented: "This is an on going issue and not particularly new to that area. Cars are also congregating at Canal Basin and other retail parks in the town centre and causing a disturbance.

"I know that there is a need for somewhere for these drivers to go and I have no issue with that and I don't think they are doing it deliberately, they are just looking for somewhere to gather. However, 'diffing' and 'donutting' are not safe and I would urge those who are doing it to stop.

"It is also a private car park and it's an issue I will be raising with the owners to see what they can do. I will also engage with residents to see if we can remedy the situation.

"I would urge drivers to be respectful and mindful of the noise particularly after 10.30pm."


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