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Newtownstewart residents claim they have been left to the mercy of ‘druggies, paedophiles and travellers’

Thursday, 2 August 2018

RESIDENTS in Newtownstewart claimed they have been left to the mercy of "druggies, paedophiles and travellers" whose antics had disrupted day to day life, terrorised communities, and left them isolated, desolated, fearful and abandoned. These were just some of the claims made at a crowded public meeting held last Wednesday night.
While representatives from the PSNI, the Housing Executive and Derry City and Strabane District Council attempted to provide locals with some answers and options, the anger and frustration of some locals could not be contained.
The meeting room in the Newtownstewart Centre 2000 soon proved way too small for the crowd that turned up. Even before the meeting began chairs were added and rows moved to accommodate the ever increasing crowd. It got to a point where Derry City and Strabane District Council's community development co-ordinator, Susan Doherty, had to point out that so crushed had the venue become that it was now a health and safety matter and she could only proceed with the meeting with the approval of the centre's officers.
Ten minutes after the scheduled start time, Ms Doherty was able to finally address the gathering which numbered approximately 80 people. She explained her role was to help facilitate the meeting which also involved the Housing Executive, the PSNI and any other partners deemed necessary to be present, including local politicians.
She explained this was the third meting that had taken place with the community and a number of actions had been agreed. Updates would be provided on these and while everything wouldn't be solved that night, it provided an opportunity to take things forward, she said.
Strabane based PSNI Inspector, Marty Mullan, said since their last meeting on June 21 there had been a dramatic reduction of about one-third in the number of calls they had been receiving about Newtownstewart compared to the month preceding their last meeting.
Full story in this week's Tyrone Constitution...

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