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Funding secured for fence near chronic anti-social hotspot in Lurgan – but is it enough?

Lurgan underpass

Funding has been secured for the erection of a fence to help quell the plague of anti-social behaviour at a Lurgan underpass.

For years, youths have ran amok in the Portadown Road underpass – and for years residents have complained.

As a result, the PSNI recommended fencing along the pathway so the culprits can no longer access the area from the fields.

The fencing is due to be installed to the rear of St Francis’ Primary School leading to the Portadown Road underpass.

Alliance Upper Bann representative, Councillor Eóin Tennyson, said: “Currently young people, are accessing the underpass via surrounding fields and dispersing quickly when PSNI arrive on scene only to gather again quickly once police depart…so it’s positive that progress has been made to deliver this anti-social behaviour prevention measure.”

Alliance councillor for the area, Peter Lavery, added: “When I speak to local residents I regularly get complaints that there is very little for young people to do most evenings which can lead to some engaging in anti-social activity.

Alliance Councillor Eoin Tennyson at the Portadown road underpass in Lurgan

“We must recognise the important role youth service providers play in Lurgan who deliver alternatives for young people which helps to keep them out of trouble and develop their skills.”

Speaking previously on this issue, Sinn Fein councillor Liam Mackle, said that while the fencing will be welcomed there is “the feeling that gating the underpass must also happen”.

Sinn Fein Councillor Mackle believes more needs doing to tackle anti-social behaviour at the Portadown road underpass in Lurgan

“I met with Inspector Rocks and local residents at the underpass and it is still a magnet for anti-social behaviour as it has been for decades. Local residents, many very elderly are tortured by large groups gathering regularly to party.

“A few years ago council, supported by the PSNI and local schools, had met regularly to discuss gates which could be closed at nights and weekends. In the long term I think this is what will work best. The area would be safer and police and council cleaning staff would have a lot less to do.”

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