SINN Fein have said they will ask “searching questions” of police regarding crimes in Glenarm.
Cllr James McKeown will seek to raise the issue of unsolved cases at the next meeting of the borough’s policing and community safety partnership.
MLA Oliver McMullan said this week that no one had been made amenable for crimes including an arson attack on a Polish family’s home, criminal damage at the St John’s GAA club at Feystown (both last year) and an assault two weeks ago on a delivery driver in the village.
“I am aware that in all these cases local people have given the names of suspects to the police. The same names are cropping up again and again and they’re still on the streets and people are left wondering what’s the point of passing on information if nothing gets done,” said the East Antrim Sinn Fein Assemblyman.
“I’ve had ordinary people telling me that if they’re caught driving two or three miles over the speed limit they’re fined and get penalty points, and they ask where are the penalties for the people carrying out serious crimes in the Glenarm area, when the police have been given names and in some cases eye-witness accounts?
“It’s a tired old question from me, but I have to keep on asking it: When are the police going to be seen to be acting for the benefit of the community?
“I think they need to be working harder to make criminals amenable for the crimes they commit. When I ask the local police they tell me the crime squad are dealing with it and they can tell us nothing.
“So we have community police and the crime squad: does the one not tell the other what they are doing?
“We will be raising this at the next meeting of the policing and community partnership because it has to be sorted out and people in Glenarm want to see the criminals that are operating in the area brought to heel.”
In response to Mr McMullan’s claims, a PSNI spokesperson stated: “Police take the report of all crime seriously and can reassure the public that we will actively investigate any incident reported to us. As police officers, we must have substantiated, evidential-standard information in order to arrest, charge and pursue successful convictions. This evidence-gathering process takes time and we understand that people can sometimes feel frustrated at what they perceive to be a lack of action.
“We recognise that public confidence stems from the service we provide and we are committed to making sure every person in the borough of Larne has the personal, professional and protective policing service they deserve.”
The police spokesperson urged the public: “If there are issues you think we should be focusing on, then please get in touch with your local neighbourhood officer on 0845 600 8000. Visit the PSNI website at www.psni.police.uk.h-district for mobile numbers for the local neighbourhood team.”