Police patrols increased in response to stone-throwing attacks

October 17, 2016

Police say they are increasing patrols in the Camlough Road area of Newry in an effort to crack down on a protracted spate of dangerous stone throwing attacks being carried out by youths in the area.

Fifteen vehicles in total have been damaged during the onslaughts on vehicles, which have continued unabated over the last number of weeks.   Desperate residents have repeatedly expressed their disgust at the attacks, but despite the intervention of community groups and the public backlash, they have continued.

Passing cars, including vehicles carrying children and Translink buses have been targeted in the senseless assaults and local political representatives and the police have warned of the increasing risk of someone being killed or seriously injured.  In July, Translink offered a cash reward of £1,000 to anyone who would testify to secure a conviction against the perpetrators and the issue has been extensively highlighted in local media over the last number of months.

Most recently, reports have emerged of youths rolling tyres from the Carnagat area onto the main Camlough Road and two weeks ago, a police vehicle was also withdrawn from service after being damaged while responding to a call in the Derrybeg area.

Speaking about the ongoing scourge, Sergeant Colin Massey of the Newry City Neighbourhood Policing Team, revealed that on nine occasions, private vehicles have been struck with stones causing damage and on a further six occasions, police vehicles have been damaged.

“The dangers of this behaviour are apparent and the risk of causing a serious road traffic collision is very high,” said Sergeant Massey.

“The youths involved appear to have little or no regard for the property or safety of others who are going about their daily business or the impact the loss of police vehicles can have on our ability to provide an effective response service to their local community.”

The Sergeant called on the community to assist police in apprehending those responsible and said he has been engaging with local community representatives in an attempt to encourage the perpetrators of the attack to “think of others and of the distress that this type of behaviour brings, as well as the impact it has on the neighbourhood.”

He confirmed that police patrols would be increased in the area and those found to be involved in the activity will be dealt with “robustly.”

Anyone with information on the incidents is asked to phone the police non-emergency number 101.