Another young mum has expressed her horror and disgust after a drunken male exposed himself and urinated as she walked on the Mall with her baby.
The incident happened this morning (Wednesday) – a week after Armagh I first brought the problem into the public domain.
An Armagh mother and her three young daughters were subjected to abuse by a man who openly urinated on the Mall last Wednesday night.
The episode – which was reported to the PSNI who subsequently appealed for information – prompted an angry response on our social media platforms.
And it led to a meeting to address the situation being held yesterday (Tuesday), with local councillors discussing the issues with the PSNI, Environmental Services, Mall Trustees, Policing and Community Safety Partnership and representatives of Armagh Cricket Club.
That meeting was arranged by DUP Alderman Freda Donnelly in response to our reports.
A range of measures aimed at tackling the situation – including increased police patrols in the Mall area, signage and an advertising campaign – have been brought forward as a result.
But this morning another young mum, who was walking with her baby, contacted Armagh I to outline what she had experienced.
Shortly after 10am she passed two men who had been drinking.
She told us: “I am at the Mall daily and there are always people drinking, causing a nuisance and smashing glass.
“This morning however there was another repeat of the incident that occurred last Wednesday.
“Before 10.30am this morning one of the men decided to expose himself whilst urinating.
“This behaviour is absolutely disgusting and it does not appear that anything is being done about it.”
The mother said the incident was also witnessed by another man in the area and it was he who contacted police to report what had happened today.
“Hopefully police will start doing patrols,” she added. “I have never seen them there yet and I’m at the Mall twice a day walking.”
The Armagh woman has also expressed her hope that, by highlighting such incidents on Armagh I, action will be taken to eradicate this type of behaviour, with claims recently that the Mall has become a ‘no-go’ area for families.
DUP Alderman Freda Donnelly is taking the lead in that regard and has updated Armagh I on the meeting, with a heightened security presence to the fore in making people feeli safe and comfortable.
She told us: “The PSNI will increase their patrols in vehicles and on foot, to provide a visible presence on the Mall and the Palace Park areas. The council will erect additional signage, to display notices of no drinking alcohol, dog fouling and littering, so that the public are fully aware of their responsibilities.”
Alderman Donnelly said the council will also provide additional wheeled bins in response to our earlier reports to encourage people to dispose of their litter.
She continued: “Environmental services will also increase their patrols in the area and this will be monitored and reviewed regularly.”
An advertising campaign – including the use of social media – will be employed “to encourage the public to be more responsible on the Mall and other public spaces, and to immediately report any anti-social behaviour to the PSNI on the 101 number”.
Alderman Donnelly hopes that these efforts will help alleviate concerns relating to the Mall and other similar venues.
“The Mall and Palace Park are a great asset to the people of Armagh and visitors, and we must all seek to protect this great heritage,” she added.
A spokesperson for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council confirmed police and council staff would increase patrolling of the area “at appropriate times” and the council has agreed “to provide extra litter bins to try to encourage people to clean up after themselves and their dogs”.
It was also agreed that “council would work with the Mall Trustees to place more ‘no drinking’ and ‘no dog fouling signs’ in the area and to increase enforcement of the byelaws”.
Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon PCSP will be meeting with the Mall Trustees in the coming weeks to discuss the introduction of a ‘Park Watch Scheme’ for tMall, similar to the very successful scheme in the People’s Park in Portadown, which was launched recently.
Park Watch encourages users and residents to help the police protect parks from vandalism and anti-social behavior whilst “encouraging pride and a sense of ownership for people who want to enjoy using our great outdoor facilities”.
Meanwhile, Armagh PSNI Inspector Kieran Quinn emphasised the importance of reporting of incidents.
He said: “It is essential that people report the incidents they see to the PSNI at the time when they happen, this helps us to target our patrolling and gives us a chance to quickly respond to anyone behaving inappropriately.
“Very few incidents are actually reported to us and to deal with these issues effectively we need information on when they are happening, at the time it happens.
“He urged the public to call the police non-emergency number 101 or if it was an emergency to call 999.”
Donna Livingstone, who made the original report last Wednesday, is supporting of the measures outlined and agrees that everyone has a role to play.
“We elect our council representives, we pay rates, we have a police service but we can’t expect to put all responsibility on these individuals and resources if we can’t be proactive, as the public, in working for our community too,” said Donna.
“If we find things unacceptable we can’t grumble and complain – we have to do!
“The Mall had been a place to avoid, from littering, dog fouling, drinking, indecent exposure and urinating to break-ins at the Cricket Club.
“There can be a positive outcome if followed through.
“The Mall is a public place, there to be enjoyed; hopefully these changes can be made and enforced across all public areas of Armagh.”