News

Castlederg sledgehammer attack

Thursday, 16 March 2017

A SLEDGEHAMMER-wielding vandal who caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage to property at the weekend has instilled fear into elderly residents living in the outskirts of Castlederg.

A number of homes had damage caused to the wooden boundary fences of their properties. In some instances not only was the timber battens and railings broken but the concrete posts were also smashed using a sledgehammer.

Local MLA., Tom Buchanan, has described the attack as "a wanton act of vandalism" and something the PSNI needed to crack down on right away.

"These were orchestrated and planned attacks and have caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage which will have to be picked up by the respective home owners. Some of these victims, who are elderly and live alone have told me of the fear they experienced in this early hours of Saturday morning when they heard the damage being caused but were too afraid to get up to see what was happening," said Mr Buchanan.

"I utterly condemn this wanton vandalism causing criminal damage to a number of properties and call on the PSNI to step up their presence in the rural areas to help prevent any further incidents and instil some confidence back into the people with the knowledge that something is being done to apprehend these mindless thugs."

The recently re-elected poll-topping DUP representative added that he believed this was a case of mindless vandalism and not focused on anyone in particular.

"I think this is just a case of mindless vandalism because it wasn't really focused on anyone and the fact it happened to more than one house, at least three. But I have to ask, what kind of individual carries a sledgehammer around in his/her car and does something like this. Elderly people have worked all their lives and contributed to the community in many ways and to have this visited upon them in the dead of night is nothing short of despicable," he said.

Mr Buchanan said people in the area were now 'living in fear' and called on the PSNI to step up patrols in the area and maintain a visible presence.

"Having more police patrols in rural area would restore some degree of confidence and show the people they are not on their own," he said.

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