Boycott the hoods

Sevia St.

A Lower Falls MLA is calling on local businesses and community groups to turn their backs on anti-social families that he says are behind the upsurge of crime in the district.

Residents of the Lower Falls were subjected to another weekend of terror after teenage hoods went on the rampage, burning stolen cars and destroying property.

Elderly residents of Albert Street and Servia Street were prisoners in their own homes as young thugs – some as young as seven - ran riot in the street over the weekend.

Local Sinn Féin MLA Fra McCann says the community knows who the ringleaders are and that people are sick and tired of living in fear. He’s now calling on local shops, businesses, community groups, clubs and pubs to isolate the culprits by refusing to have anything to do with them.

“I would call on local shops to refuse to serve these people, pubs and clubs to close their doors and refuse their custom and businesses and community groups to say no more will we put up with this behaviour that is destroying the fabric of our society,” he said. “In recent years there has been a number of problem families transferred from elsewhere into the Lower Falls. What we see now in the Albert Street area is the knock-on effect of that policy. There is also a number of ‘home-grown’ thugs, brought up around here, who have nothing but destruction on their minds.”

Cllr McCann said that the names and faces of the culprits are well known and he further claimed that many of them had been recruited by the PSNI as low-level informers.

“The Lower Falls has always been a close, tight-knit community, and now people have simply had enough. We know who the culprits are, we know that the PSNI use them as informers and are happy to stand back and watch them wreak havoc, and we know the statutory agencies – although keen to make the right noises – have done nothing to help. The only answer is for the community to turn their backs on these people once and for all, let them know we will not be terrorised. Local people have tried to integrate these thugs into our community, we have called on their parents to exercise control and at every turn the door has been slammed in our face.

“I would say rather than sink to these people’s level, simply turn your back and let them know that they are not welcome. If they have nothing to offer our community then the community should offer them nothing in return.”

Journalist:: Allison Morris

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