Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Maskey urges support for anti-social vigil

7 January, 2009 - by Alex Maskey


South Belfast Sinn Fein MLA Alex Maskey has urged residents in the Lower Ormeau area to support a vigil organised by the local community for this Thursday 8th January at 6:30pm (to take place on the Ormeau Road, at the top of Rutland Street and Farnham Street) to show solidarity with those residents who have been victims of crime and to send a clear message to these local thugs that the community will not tolerate their criminal behaviour.


The vigil was organised after an upsurge in anti-social behaviour in the area over the Christmas and New Year period.


Alex Maskey MLA said,

"Sinn Féin has continued to maintain a focus on the number of burglaries, activities of drug dealing and other anti social behaviour in the lower Ormeau area. As part of this work I met with the PSNI in mid December to urge them to be especially proactive against crime in the area over the Christmas period.


"While the PSNI did take some action before Christmas I am very concerned at the level of crime in the area over the Christmas period. Unfortunately there have been a number of burglaries, car thefts and other anti community activities including drug dealing.


"It is the most vulnerable in our community that are being attacked in their homes. Old aged pensioners, single mothers, young families, and single vulnerable people have become victims of this gang.


"The stark reality is that those who are responsible are from this community and are well known to most local residents.


"I have discussed these issues with local residents and community representatives and have urged a renewed local initiative against those responsible.


"The lower Ormeau community has stood together against sectarian abuse and repression over many years and must not fall victim to this small group of parasites and thugs. Everyone living in this community has a responsibility to act in the best interests of it and to protect it when necessary whether the threat comes from within or without.


"I would therefore call on all local residents to support the vigil organised for this Thursday at 6:30pm to take place on the Ormeau Road at the top of Rutland and Farnham Streets. This vigil is to show solidarity for those residents who have been victims of crime and to send a clear message to these local thugs that the community will not tolerate their criminal behaviour".


He concluded,

"The names of those who are responsible may be known by people who, through a misguided sense of loyalty, may be reluctant or unwilling to pass this information on. They may have seen something unusual or been offered or heard of someone being offered stolen goods for sale. They may have been asked to keep stolen items or know where stolen items are being kept. I would urge those people who know anything whatsoever, however small or insignificant they may think it is, to pass this information on to the PSNI before these activities result in serious injury or worse.


"I will be having further discussion with local community representatives, the PSNI and other agencies to consider further measures required to make the lower Ormeau a safer area for all its residents".

CRÍOCH

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