Parties at Forthill cemetery

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The PSNI are to be asked to step up patrols in the vicinity of Cookstown’s Forthill Cemetery following complaints of anti-social behaviour.

Local Ulster Unionist Councillor Trevor Wilson said a number of residents in the Drumcree area had raised concerns with him.

“This is an on-going issue at the Drumcree walkway which needs to be tackled by the PSNI as a matter of urgency,” he said.

Residents in the Drumcree area are telling me about empty bottles being thrown into their back yards, especially at weekends.”

A regular dog walker told the Mail that the rear of the cemetery was in “a disgraceful state”.

“There is smashed bottles and beer cans everywhere and bags of takeaways and discarded food,” he said.

“Every weekend there is drink and drugs being taken on the steps at the rear where three new graves have been placed.

“It’s also a complete nightmare now to walk a dog in that area, the place is in a total mess.”

The area is popular with walkers and this is something Councillor Wilson wants to see continue.

Councillor Wilson said he believed the police could increase patrols in the area at weekends in an effort to curb the problem.

He said it was totally unacceptable that local residents were having to endure such anti-social behaviour.

“Sadly, this is an issue which has been going on for some time and its proximity to the public cemetery only makes matters worse,” he added.

Over Hallowe’en last year, the police were forced to close Westland Road South after passing cars were attacked with stones and fireworks.

A shop in the area was also forced to close because of the trouble involving young people.

A car containing a family had to turn back after fireworks and stones were hurled at it.

Cookstown police strongly condemned the incident at the time.

Hundreds of people also took to social media to voice anger at the road having to be closed because of what one woman called “mindless hooliganism.”