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Police make arrests after upsurge in car crime in Divis area

By Gemma Burns

Police in West Belfast have made arrests in the Divis area to tackle the issue of car crime.
There have been a number of incidents where vehicles have been taken from properties in areas outside of the area following creeper burglaries and then driven dangerously in Divis.
Police have responded to this and have made car crime related arrests in recent days.
On 4 November officers recovered a stolen vehicle in the McDonnell Street area and arrested four people; a 22 year old male, an 18 year old male, a 21 year old female and a 25 year old female on suspicion of taking and driving away as well as other offences.
There were three further arrests following the recovery of a stolen vehicle in the Upper Springfield Road area; a 29 year old male, a 15 year old male and a 22 year old male were all arrested on suspicion of taking and driving away among other offences.
An incident occurred as recently as Monday this week at around 8.30pm on the Ross Road where a vehicle was driven straight at a police vehicle before swerving and taking off. A large crowd gathered and a laser pen was flashed at officers. The car was stolen from a property in the Belmont Park area and was later recovered, abandoned in the Leeson Street area.
A dedicated Halloween Operation was also implemented, with significant numbers of officers deployed in the Divis area each night.
Chief Inspector Anthony McNally PSNI Area Commander in West Belfast said they need community support in the area.
“The PSNI are responding to community concerns, we are taking stolen cars off the streets, arresting offenders and most importantly keeping people safe,” he said.
“We are working with the community and have made progress, but we still do need the local community support to address the underlying problems. We are committed to collaborative working in order to reduce anti-social behaviour and death driving.
“If anyone has any information linked to community safety issues, please contact us on 101 or anonymously through independent charity Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.”

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