New Belfast 'joyriding' footage emerges

Published Friday, 04 July 2014
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A spokesperson for Families Bereaved Through Car Crime has appealed for an end to so-called ‘joyriding’ in west Belfast, as new videos emerge that appear to show stolen cars being driven on residential streets in the area.

The latest videos showing a car being driven recklessly were published online on Thursday, with a description referring to the 'Divis Hoods' - the name used by a gang of youths in the area.

A group of young men can be seen watching from the pavement and some are recording the events on their phones as the vehicle in question veers dangerously close to them.

And, in a separate video, a taxi has to pull onto the pavement to avoid the high speed stunts.

Reacting to the latest footage, Tommy Holland from Families Bereaved Through Car Crime has asked those involved to think of the consequences.

"You actually see a father wheeling his baby in a pram, having to pull the pram back from the edge," he said.

"It's seconds away from this 'joyrider' turning into a death-driver.

"Somewhere a family is going to be devastated, somewhere a family is going to be heartbroken, and somewhere a family is going to be visiting those involved in this in jail."

Mr Holland has warned those who may think the activity is "fun" that anyone could become a victim of this type of crime.

"Look at their mothers and fathers, their grandparents, sisters and brothers - it could be one of them out there killed. How would they feel if a member of their closest family, if they were killed?" he added.

They are no sooner arrested than they are seen back on the streets. This needs to stop and judges need to take a harder line before someone is killed.

Tommy Holland

Joyriding has been an ongoing problem in west Belfast and dozens of videos of rampaging drivers have been posted online.

Outrage was sparked in January when it emerged that hundreds of people had attended an illegal street race in the area on New Year's Eve.

Police and community leaders are working to tackle the problem, but Mr Holland thinks the culprits are not being punished appropriately.

"There needs to be a hard response to this, a much quicker and robust response. The auto-crime team are doing their best, they are out there trying to apprehend and make sure that these people who are consistently involved in car crime are taken off the streets," he said.

But he described the courts system as a "revolving door of justice".

Police have said they are "committed to making the streets of west Belfast a safer place to live" and are effectively tackling car crime.

Since January, PSNI figures show downward trends in criminal damage to vehicles, theft and recovered vehicles in the area.

"This should provide reassurance the PSNI are committed to giving the people of the area the policing service they expect, however we would also highlight the need for ongoing assistance from the community by reporting any incidents of anti-social behaviour and criminal activity to their local PSNI station," a PSNI spokesperson said.

Police have said anyone with concerns should contact police at Grosvenor Road station on 0845 600 8000 or email their local Neighbourhood Policing Team.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
North belfast in North belfast wrote (202 days ago):
No good, no future, no hope for the kids watching and growing up along side this. The police need to step it up a gear and sort this out with big sentances. They r scumbags who ruin familys
mark in belfast wrote (202 days ago):
The police response will be to set up more speed traps and mobile MOT checks. That's all they can realistically do, as they're guaranteed convictions. And conviction rates are all they can report against to show something is being done. The courts favour car thieves and joyriders. You'd probably be safer saying you stole your car if you were ever caught speeding.
no such thing as joyrider in belfast wrote (203 days ago):
the term joyriders is a joke, their nothing more than scumbags, no respect for other peoples property.
kells in Belfast wrote (203 days ago):
I watched a program last night about the justice system in the Usa, Young guy got caught in a stolen vehicle for the 3rd time now under the 3 strikes and your out policy he is doing 25 years maybe get out in 15 for good behavior, Need to bring something like that In here, They get a slap on the wrists and wear their criminal convictions like a badge of honor, As for the parents theres no excuse all its all learned behavior what sort of home must they be running! I got my car broken into and the guy who was a known repeat offender finger prints were over my car door- his defence and I kid you not was that his shoe lace came loose and he used my car door for leverage whilst tying it, and the worse thing he was believed!
the zohan in west Belfast wrote (203 days ago):
In reply to: Just an idea in the beach; "...gets put into an environment where they can be educated as to why it is wrong and leave understanding and respecting that value - (when something is wrong and why you should not do it)" They do know, they just don't care. I've seen it time and time again.
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