Young revellers blamed after ‘despicable’ scenes

Anti-social scenes in Cookstown town centre
Anti-social scenes in Cookstown town centre

Young revellers used social media to generate “despicable” scenes in Cookstown, it has emerged.

Ulster Unionist councillor Trevor Wilson is awaiting a meeting with the PSNI and Mid Ulster Community Policing and Safety Partnership (PCSP) to discuss the disturbance in the Loy Street-Fairhill Road areas of the town.

“This episode has to be condemned in the strongest possible terms by all right thinking people,” said Councillor Wilson, who witnessed events unfold. “It must not be allowed to happen again.”

Bus loads of revellers descended on the Tyrone town, urinating in gardens, littering, banging on doors and windows and other anti-social behaviour.

“We welcome people to enjoy themselves in Cookstown but not indulge in this kind of mindless behaviour which disturbed the lives of local residents,” he said.

“I understand that those involved in this behaviour used social media to encourage others.”

He stressed householders in the Loy Street-Fairhill areas had suffered enough from anti-social behaviour over the years.

Police moved quickly and imposed sanctions on more than 20 young people arising out of the incident last week.

And they are continuing to review CCTV footage of the incident in order to detect others.

Mid Ulster DUP MLA Keith Buchanan called for a more robust response from the authorities.

Mr Buchanan said he has spoken to police and asked for more resources to be made available.

“These scenes are unacceptable and I understand that they had been prearranged and orchestrated over social media,” he said.

“After conversations with PSNI, I have been assured that more resources will be made available on Monday night. Sadly, this area has had problems over a number of years.

“I await the actions of Mid Ulster District Council, PCSP, PSNI and their engagement with other agencies. Residents have had to put up with this problem over several years and as yet no suitable resolution has happened.

“A more robust response is required to solve this issue. Yes, have meetings but on the ground actions must be a result of these meetings.”

Police have said the behaviour witnessed in Cookstown would not be tolerated, describing the scenes as despicable.

In a warning issued in a Facebook posting, police said enough was enough and warned revellers coming to the town that their officers will be adopting a no tolerance policy regarding anti-social behaviour.

“The scenes in Cookstown town centre were despicable and some of you will have woken up this morning with a potential court appearance looming, as well as a sore head,” they said.

“We’re reviewing CCTV footage of the disturbances last night so if you were involved, listen out for the knock on the door.

“Cookstown is a very welcoming place to revellers who come here to avail of the great night time economy and craic, but we adopt a no tolerance policy when it comes to anti-social behaviour or violent conduct.

“Just because you’re out partying doesn’t mean the rest of the town is - our residents don’t deserve to have to put up with noise, littering, anti-social behaviour and ones relieving themselves in people’s gardens.”