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New gates installed at town’s anti-social behaviour hotspot

Thursday, 19 April 2018

New gates installed at town’s anti-social behaviour hotspot thumbnailPatsy Kelly at the New Gates

NEW gates have been installed at a notorious anti-social behaviour hotspot in the town centre in a bid to quell weekend disorder.

The two three-metre high barriers at the alleyway between Castle Street and John Wesley Street have been erected in response to calls by local business owners - backed by elected representatives - for action to address the spiralling volume of anti-social behaviour in the area, particularly at weekends.

In recent months there have been reports of groups of drunken teenagers congregating in and around the alleyway on Friday and Saturday nights, many who are reportedly engaging in intimidating behaviour.

There have also been incidences of bins being set alight to the rear of retail premises, vandalism to cars and property, smashed glass and threatening behaviour towards staff.

The escalating criminality had led to repeated calls for the erection of gates at the alley in a bid to deter teenagers from gathering there. Those calls culminated in Gating Order by Derry City and Strabane District Council. Two gates are now in place.

It's understood the gates will become operational in the coming days with details over times and responsibility for the opening and closing to be ironed out.

 

Local independent councillor, Patsy Kelly, has welcomed the move adding that he hopes it will give business owners and the general public some peace of mind.

"That alley has been huegly problematic so we have to welcome this. We have been shouting for it for some time and now the gates are in place.

"It's been a long time coming so hopefully it will put an end to the behaviour we have seen in the area over the last couple of months. Business owners are willing to open and close the gates themselves but once those details are agreed the gates will become operational soon.

"This is the first step towards trying to help businesses and locals feel more secure. The next thing on the agenda now is CCTV for Strabane."

Strabane Business Improvement District (BID) and the local Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) covered the cost of the manufacture and installation of the gates (£3,950) with council responsible for the future maintenance of the gates and ongoing public liability.

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