McCann meets Attorney General regarding Courts approach to anti-Community activity
West Belfast MLA Fra McCann has said that it is time the courts take account of the effect on residents of anti-community activity.
Mr. McCann said:
“Over a lengthy period of time I have been working with residents in the greater Falls area in West Belfast who have been plagued by the worst possible excesses of anti-community elements.
“These people destroy, intimidate, assault, terrorise, burgle and drive cars at high speed wrecking walls and gardens. They deliberately drive onto to kerbs in sick games of intimidation of residents. This is not a monthly or even a weekly event but a daily occurrence.
“It is too often the case that these people have been in front of the courts on numerous occasions but are continuously released on bail back into the community. Many in the community feel that they have been let down by the judicial process especially in relation to bail.
Fra McCann continued:
“The impression being formed in the community is that since judges or magistrates do not have to endure this anti-community activity that they have little understanding of how difficult the community find dealing with young people dying because of drugs and death driving. Anti-community elements run wild with no fear of appearing at court.
“The courts do not see the trail of destruction left by these people and the effect that the revolving door court system is having on the community”.
“In an attempt to address the residents’ concerns I sought and received a meeting with the Attorney General, John Larkin.
“At the meeting which took place on 24th September when I was accompanied by party colleague, Claire Canavan, we raised all of the matters of concern to residents. “It was a frank and comprehensive discussion and we were pleased by the positive approach adopted by AG John Larkin.
“We agreed a number of actions including the Attorney General visiting some of the areas that are blighted by the worst effects of anti-community behaviour to get a better understanding of the impact that court decisions have on the physical and mental wellbeing of these communities.”