Yobs force Saintfield man to flee home after kill threat

Yobs force Saintfield man to flee home after kill threat

8 May 2024

A SAINTFIELD man, who was forced to flee his home after being threatened with his life, has called for tough action on the teenagers responsible.

Residents in the Lislane Park, Lislane Road and Listooder Park area have this week revealed a litany of incidents over the past six months.

Distraught residents have been harassed, intimidated and threatened by a gang of unruly teenagers, one of whom was carrying a pellet gun. 

One resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Recorder he was forced from his home and had to stay with a relative after the group threatened to kill him. 

The man said that residents are living on edge, with some not being able to sleep at night for fear of what may happen next.

He said he is nervous all the time, doesn’t feel safe in his own home and that these occurrences have persisted for too long.

“It is having detrimental effects on us all and the police need to do more,” the man said.

“The culprits are no older than 18 and probably as young as 14, but they are doing all they can to conceal their identity.

“They would sometimes drink at a park near the estate, but the harassment and threats have been occurring nearly every weekend.”

The man said his car was damaged, with the youths threatening to break into his home, revealing they had previously damaged several of his neighbours’ properties.

“There have been occasions when neighbours have found dog excrement lifted from the bins and spread over their cars. The acts these teenagers are engaging in is absolutely disgusting and it can’t go on,” he continued.

“People are constantly worried about what will happen next or when it will happen and that is no way to live.

The man said that the first incident occurred in November, while the juveniles were drinking at the park situated near Lislane Hill.

One of the youths threw an empty glass bottle into a resident’s garden, narrowly avoiding hitting a five year-old child. 

The man confirmed the incident was reported to the police, but believes more action could have been taken.

“I feel the police have been a bit complacent,” he said. “When the police came out, they took the names and addresses of the group members, but they just gave them a warning.

“I feel if the police made the teenagers’ parents aware about the type of behaviour they were engaging in, it would have stopped there and then.

“They were let off the hook and they came back because the knew they got away lightly.”

The group would then continue to come back and harass residents by ringing doorbells and running away but it soon escalated into intimidation and threats.

“When it first began to happen, some of us would chase them away but, looking back, I think it was silly because it gave them a thrill to what they were doing,” the distressed resident said.

“It soon developed into violence, with the youths attacking cars and threatening to kill people if they went to the police.

“I’ve seen one member of the group walk around with a pellet gun, but it is only a matter of time before someone gets hurt.”

The resident said “police need to do something”.

He continued: “I don’t think the group of young people realise the impact their actions will have on their lives.

“Their behaviour could land them in huge trouble and could stop them from getting good jobs. I realise that some of them are very young and impressionable, but enough is enough.

“We’re all fearful that this will get worse over the summer because they’ll be off school and we can’t spend all our times looking over our shoulders or feel unsafe in our homes.” 

PSNI Inspector Darren Hardy said police were aware of the ongoing issues relating to anti-social behaviour and will respond accordingly.

“A continued visible policing presence will be in place to both deter and detect those who may be responsible,” he continued.

“Our enquiries remain ongoing in relation to these matters and we will continue to investigate all reports of criminal activity received by police.”

Inspector Hardy added: “These offences will be investigated by officers and we continue to encourage those with information that may be able to assist with our enquiries, should speak to police on 101 or report online at www.psni.police.uk/makeareport. Alternatively, information can be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.”