'Hundreds' at illegal city street race

Published Thursday, 02 January 2014
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An illegal street race which took place in west Belfast has been condemned.

Sinn Féin said hundreds of young people gathered to watch cars being driven dangerously along the Falls Road on New Year's Eve.

Local MLA Fra McCann described the event, which was apparently arranged on social media, as "nothing more than wanton vandalism and intimidation of a local community".

He went on: "Last night we have seen several hundred young people travel from across Belfast to participate in what can only be described as an orgy of destruction.

"It is my understanding that the whole escapade was organised through Facebook and text messaging and those who organised this event can clearly be identified on social media.

"I would expect the PSNI to act on this immediately so that there is no reoccurrence of this type of behaviour and that the people who took part in this are brought before the courts as they have no respect for the local community."

Police said there has been a "significant reduction" in car crime in west Belfast over the past decade and added that they are committed to reducing it further.

A spokesperson said: "As part of Operation Echinus, the special policing operation aimed at targeting crime and anti-social behaviour in the Lower Falls area, over the past 12 months over 400 people have been arrested or reported to the Public Prosecution Service.

"Incidents of crime have reduced by 19% and incidents of anti-social behaviour have reduced by 17% in comparison to the pre Operation Echinus period and reports of theft from and criminal damage to vehicles has reduced by over 14%.

"The PSNIs Auto Crime Team has been instrumental in the significant reduction in car crime in the West Belfast area, which is down by 84% in the last 10 years, and much of this is due to the great partnership work with local groups and agencies.

"By working together, we can address the issues which matter most to the local community."

© UTV News
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46 Comments
morgan in antrim wrote (101 days ago):
Honda CRX!!! stolen ITS a bloody discrace.
charles dickens in lisburn wrote (104 days ago):
might i just comment and say that this type of thing is not the car culture it is infact joyriders. sick of the car scene being tarnished with the same brush as these scum.
lisa in belfast wrote (104 days ago):
Are you kidding me it is now being called "street racing" DHLA are nothing but joyriding scumbags #fact this isn't the first video they have uploaded of there enjoyment of wrecking other cars which they have STOLE !!!! They are at it all the time ppl need to stand up to them little boys and girls when they are on their own but big boys and girls when in their sad group. The police need to do a lot more bring back the Auto Crime Team I watched the video and it wasn't Kids!! Grown men were there watching it too SICKING!!!!
Dozzer in Belfast wrote (104 days ago):
Why dont the PSNI just say they'll track down these eejits, instead of hammering out pointless stats that are nothing to do with this specific incident?
Geraldine in Belfast wrote (104 days ago):
Wonder how long it will take until the police make any arrests? Examples (and not heroes) need made from this or it will happen again.
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