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Ormeau Park patrols ‘unaffected’ by station closures

By Staff Reporter

ORMEAU Park will still be patrolled regularly by police, despite the threat to local PSNI stations, it has been claimed.

Local information campaigner John Collins raised the issue of the local park at last week’s DPP meeting, demanding to know how patrols would be affected by the closing of local stations in the area.

Both Ballynafeigh station and Willowfield station on the Woodstock Road in East Belfast are being considered for the chop. Both stations are close to the Ormeau Park which has been the site of a number of incidents over the last year, including a serious sexual assault and on-going anti-social behaviour.

Mr Collins told DPP members: “Incidents in Ormeau Park remain concerning for locals who regularly use it. Even the council have been forced to install CCTV cameras but who is going to patrol it if nearby stations close?”

Chief Inspector Gabriel Moran insisted that patrols in the park would not be reduced.

“Ormeau Park will be patrolled no matter what. The focus won’t change and our neighbourhood teams will cover the same area, including the park.”

Meanwhile South  Belfast’s PSNI Area Commander has hit out at vandals removing life rings from along the River Lagan, following the death of a young man and a recent near drowning.

Chief Inspector Gabriel Moran revealed thieves had removed five life rings from points along the Lagan, from Cutters Wharf in Stranmillis down to the Weir, in just one night between February 21 and the following morning.

In recent weeks young North Belfast man Joby Murphy drowned in the river after attending a concert nearby, while police and fire crews were also forced to rescue a young woman who entered the water two weeks ago. Then a life ring helped keep the girl and her rescuer afloat until they were hauled onto a boat. The police chief warned that anyone removing the rings could end up with a “death on their conscience”, and called for the return of the missing rings.

“The life rings which are strategically placed along the riverbank are there for a reason. They could be the difference between life and death for someone who may be in difficulty in the water. Anyone involved in the removal of this vital equipment needs to carefully examine their actions. Think about what you are doing and the possible tragic consequences. Do you want a death on your conscience?”

Anyone with details of the thefts is asked to contact police at Lisburn Road Station on 0845 600 8000 or through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.




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