Hooligans behind largest chunk of crime tally in Tyrone

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Over 40 per cent of the hundreds of individual crimes reported to police from Cookstown to Aughnacloy, and in-between this February, were anti-social in nature.

But this figure does not include violent or sexual crimes which made up a further 22% of the area’s overall crime tally.

Some of the 'empties' confiscated over Easter in Cookstown

Some of the 'empties' confiscated over Easter in Cookstown

In towns and villages between, and including, Cookstown, Dungannon, Aughnacloy, Coalisland and Stewartstown a total of 361 individual crimes were reported to police in February alone.

Although this figure was down from 383 in January, in both months, anti-social behaviour appears to be taking up the most police time.

A total of 150 were anti-social in nature, while 84 were sexual or violent in nature.

Surprisingly, drug crimes made up a very small proportion of recorded crimes - at just 20. There were 12 recorded burglaries in the area - much higher than any other area of Mid Ulster, and a further 24 incidents involved criminal damage or arson.

IRA and gun grafitti on a Dungannon roundabout also led to police involvement

IRA and gun grafitti on a Dungannon roundabout also led to police involvement

Just last week, PSNI Dungannon said they had been made aware of “anti-social behaviour on the lines, Mullaghanagh Lane and Dungannon Park”. Pleading with parents to find out what their children “are up to”, a post on PSNI Dungannon & South Tyrone’s Facebook Page said: “We really don’t want to arrest them and bring them back to your front door. But if they are involved in any criminal activity we will.”

Meanwhile, police working over Easter weekend issued an online plea to those partying in Cookstown to “show some respect when visiting the town” along with a picture of “some of the collection of ‘empties’ and not so empty alcoholic beverages” Cookstown’s Neighbourhood Policing Team confiscated. “Remember, drinking alcohol in public and on the street is not permitted,” they added.

Asked about the large numbers of anti-social crimes police deal with, Chief Inspector Roy Robinson said: “We understand the extent to which anti-social behaviour can have an adverse effect on the quality of life for the people affected. We are here to listen to all community concerns and work with others to find a solution. Police seek all opportunities to address anti-social behaviour, working closely with residents and partner agencies. This work includes enforcement, making arrests and education, which in turn helps young people to understand the impact on the victim.

“I would encourage the public to report incidents of anti-social behaviour to police at the earliest opportunity.”

Police were involved after this sign was put up in Moygashel in March

Police were involved after this sign was put up in Moygashel in March