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Scathing attack on PSNI after rampage

Crisis meeting held in wake of Falls rampage

By Francesca Ryan

An emergency meeting was held this week to discuss a rampage by death-drivers in the lower Falls over the holiday period.

A video posted on YouTube shows two cars racing each other on the Falls Road at the Albert Street junction on New Year’s Eve as a number of people stand on the pavement watching.

The PSNI are seen in the video, first driving by the cars and then cornering one of them.  No arrests were made in the incident.  Monday’s meeting was attended by a number of groups, including Sinn Féin, community workers and representatives from various statutory agencies, including the PSNI, the Housing Executive, the Youth Justice Agency and the Parole Board.

MLA for the area Fra McCann said he witnessed first-hand what took place on New Year’s Eve.

“The purpose of the meeting was to discuss what happened here on the Falls Road on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s morning,” he said. “There was an orchestrated death-driving event that had been organised on social media and took place on the main road.

“I actually drove into the middle of it just after midnight and there were people standing on the footpaths watching the bouts of death-driving resulting in the destruction and vandalism of this area.”

Mr McCann said questions need to be answered by the PSNI.

“People have been very critical as to why no arrests were made on the night and why the police did nothing to stop this event before it happened. They should be identifying and monitoring social network sites that encourage this type of behaviour,” he said.



“The local MP [Paul Maskey] is leading an intervention in this area focusing on education, employment and training to enhance the area and its prospects, but those behind New Year’s Eve want the exact opposite, destruction and vandalism, but we won’t allow it to happen.

“We have scheduled another meeting for two weeks’ time and hopefully we will get answers about the lack of arrests and lack of action here over the holidays as well as the number of bail checks carried out on known offenders who were granted Christmas leave from prison.”

While the Colin area was quiet over the holidays, there was a higher number of car-crime incidents before and after Christmas, says local community safety worker Michael George.

“While Christmas itself was quiet, we are dealing with issues in the Dunmurry Lane area this week,” he said.  “Two cars were stolen overnight  on Tuesday and Wednesday in creeper burglaries with one being found in Ballymurphy.

“In terms of Christmas and the holiday period, we had raised concerns with PSNI about an upsurge before Christmas and in this area it looks like it was taken on board at that time.  A number of arrests were made over the Christmas period, police were fairly pro-active

“The Colin area had a particularly quiet Christmas, there were a few car crime incidents but people were apprehended and arrests were made.

“It was probably one of the quietest Christmases anti-social behaviour-wise for the area.”

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