Viglantes are ‘policing’ their estates

KEEPING IN TOUCH...Russell Watton, independent candidate, pictured at the election count. CR19 264pl

KEEPING IN TOUCH...Russell Watton, independent candidate, pictured at the election count. CR19 264pl

A newly elected Causeway Coast and Glens councillor is claiming that young men are out on the streets at night in a bid to stop ongoing sectarian attacks in Coleraine.

PUP councillor Russell Watton told The Times last week that those involved ‘believe that their presence will deter further attacks’.

The Coleraine man also claimed that this may spread to other estates in the Coleraine area.

“The ongoing sectarian attacks in Coleraine is starting to escalate out of control.

“I warned the police earlier this month that action needed to be taken.

“The consequence is that people are taking it upon themselves to police their communites

“These attacks, which involve the removal of flags from homes, have been on going now for two years. Enough is enough, something needs to be done.”

The PUP man went on to claim that there is evidence showing who is carrying out the attacks.

He added: “Those responsible must be arrested and brought before the courts.”

In a statement, the PSNI warned that such behaviour is illegal, and added that law enforcement was an issue for the PSNI.

“The PSNI is responsible for law enforcement in Northern Ireland - we are here to protect local people and we are proud to serve them.

“We are making real progress in detecting and preventing crime and anti-social behaviour. Indeed last year across the policing district, crime was at it’s lowest level for fifteen years.

“Those who engage in vigilante behaviour, whether claiming to represent an illegal paramilitary organisation or not, are usually only interested in asserting their own control and influence over local communities, pushing selfish and often criminal interests with no regard for wider community concerns.

“Police would take this opportunity to warn anyone involved in such illegal behaviour, they will be the subject of arrest and the judicial process.”


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