Londonderry: Rise in Galliagh trouble prompts police review

PSNI

Police in Derry are to review their resources in Galliagh following a rise in anti-social behaviour in the area.

In one case, a young mother said she was "terrified" after her partner was attacked outside their home on Friday.

The police arrested four people, two men and two youths.

"It is cold comfort to the victim, but at times we do have demand and that does affect our response," said PSNI Insp Johnny Hunter.

The attack on the woman's partner happened after he tried to stop a group setting bins on fire, said the woman, who did not want to be named.

"We looked out the window and saw the road on fire," she told Radio Foyle. "The second fellow came over, he lifted a glass bottle off the railings.

"The third time he swung it he let it go and they pulled him (her partner) to the ground as they got into the garden.

"I was standing screaming: 'There's a baby in here, please stop!'

"But they wouldn't listen to me and that's when the neighbours came out," she added.

"When we got into the flat we put the table against the door. I was shaking. I was terrified."

'Very traumatic'

The woman said she, her partner and their two-week-old baby would not return to their home.

The family were also critical of the police response to the attack.

"I can understand from her perspective," said Insp Hunter. "She has suffered a very traumatic and very, very serious incident."

"We will be reviewing that (rise in anti-social behaviour) and we will be reviewing our police deployment in the area."

Police response time suffered in areas where there was an ongoing dissident republican paramilitary threat, said Insp Hunter.

"It's not something for us to hide behind and use as an excuse but there is no doubt that it is a prime consideration when you receive a call," he said.

"Recent instances in Galliagh include a device thrown at police and the find of munitions, so there is no doubt it does affect our response.

"But it's not a reason for us not to respond."