Strangford MP Jim Shannon MP with Rowallene councillors Billy Walker and Terry Andrews recently met with PSNI Chief inspector Darren Hardy has said the meeting was “constructive and helpful”.
He said: “There has been a spate of aggravated robberies and attacks in the Queen’s Park area of Saintfield and local communities have been concerned. We pressed for a greater presence of police on the beat on the ground at this location. Chief Inspector Hardy has said he will be responding positively in the next few weeks in this area.
“There has also been considerable anti-social behaviour in the Killyleagh area, and in the last week in Crossgar there was damage caused to the Christmas tree and an elderly and vulnerable couple had their property vandalised.
“There is also the issue of illegal drugs that seem readily available throughout the three communities of Saintfield, Killyleagh and Crossgar, and there must be a concerted effort to combat drugs. The police will be I understand be very active in the next weeks in these areas.
“This was a very constructive dialogue that will bring results, but we need the support of the general public to register all incidents and give all information no matter how small to the PSNI.
“By working together, crime levels can be reduced, criminals can be prosecuted and put in jail and anti-social behaviour will be addressed. Criminal drug suppliers must be apprehended and convicted and when all of this is achieved from reporting any small event, all our towns and villages will benefit and our children will be much safer.”
Cllr Billy Walker has added: “I appreciated the PSNI taking time to have a meeting with us to discuss these issues. It was a chance for me to highlight what I am hearing from so many people… that the police need to take a stronger hand and root our these issues.
“We need a restoration of confidence in the PSNI by seeing more police on the street, more local police who you can have a quiet word with and feel confident that action will be taken.
“I also would like to highlight the fact that Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 is a completely anonymous charity who will not even take your phone number. If you do have any information on these local issues they will help us to get the thugs off the streets and our neighbourhoods safer again.”