A COLERAINE councillor has hit out at the “black” publicity which, he says, has been “foisted on the good people of the Heights”.
Cllr David Barbour (PICTURED RIGHT) said he was was saddened at recent publicity of the Churchlands and Heights areas when there were many community issues which needed addressing by voluntary and statutory agencies such as unemployment, education, housing and transport.
“Coleraine Borough Council in conjunction with central government has procured funding to take forward local initiatives which are decided by various neighbourhood groups,” said Cllr Barbour.
“Rampant sectarian and anti-social behaviour designed to provoke individuals or groups into destructive retaliation is a cancerous tumour in a neighbourhood, deserving of the best treatment available.
“It must be very difficult to remain calm when you see your decent neighbourhood being insulted by disgraceful behaviour. Hard as it is, I think it best if people maintain a good distance from those who engage in unwanted behaviour and report any suspicious activities.
“In saying that, I think many of our residents would be more ready to engage in witness activity if they had the confidence that a robust response is guaranteed.
“Our devolved government must strengthen the hand of the PSNI, the courts and other statutory agencies to take a more strident approach to delivering community safety and security. I mentioned before that if this misbehaviour continues there should be a special task force of appropriate agencies deployed to deal firmly with all perpetrators of crime,” he concluded.
An archive picture was mistakenly used to illustrate a statement by SDLP MLA John Dallat on flags last week.
Apologies to residents for any annoyance caused.