Mountview misery amid ‘drugs den’ claims

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Drinkers and drug-users are making life a misery for some residents of ex-army accommodation at Lisburn’s Mountview Drive.

That’s the claim to emerge this week, with one woman desperate for somewhere to turn, she said, after a year living in sight of what she described as a “drugs den”.

Police, meanwhile, though aware of issues with alcohol and anti-social behaviour, say they have found no evidence of drugs taking in the area.

The local woman, who did not want to be named, insisted: “I moved here to get away from drugs and now here I am and the place is turning into a drugs den.

“There’s cars and vans coming and going at all hours and it’s every single day, and every night.

“I can’t sleep in my bed at night since I moved here; I’m absolutely shattered, drained.

“Me and my family can’t sleep at night because of the noise of these people.”

The woman reports a number of vacant properties - understood, unlike her own, to remain in Ministry of Defence ownership - are being routinely broken into, vandalised, stripped of anything remotely valuable and used to shelter gangs of “drug and alcohol users”.

“Someone was sent out to board up windows, “ she said, “but that doesn’t keep them out.

“The police put an extra patrol on but when I see them down there with their drugs and call the police they don’t respond in time to catch them.”

Police in Lisburn said they had responded to complaints from members of the public who had spoken to them directly and through the local Policing and Community Safety Partnership, about issues of anti-social behaviour in the area.

“We have liaised with those who have responsibility for the buildings and officers have visited the area to assess the situation,” said Chief Inspector John Wilson. “While no evidence of drugs taking has been found, there are indications that alcohol has been consumed and a large amount of rubbish has been discarded.

“On the evening of August 12 a passing police patrol stopped in the area and one 20-year-old male was cautioned for criminal damage.

“We would ask members of the community to continue to report any criminal activity so we can respond and prevent further nuisance.”

The Ministry of Defence, meanwhile, on the strength of the information provided, was unable to confirm ownership of the properties concerned.

An MoD spokesman did say, however: “Any illegal activity or anti-social behaviour should be reported to the PSNI.”

Having repeatedly reported the activity to what she believes to have been little good effect, she said, the frustrated resident is now asking to be rehoused.

“They’re breaking in there,” she said, “and taking radiators and pipes off the walls, smashing doors and windows and there’s bottles, broken glass and rubbish everywhere.

“Twice now I’ve had vet’s bills for over £600 after my dog’s paws were sliced to ribbons on broken glass as I walked him.”

Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson, whose office the local woman also contacted, said he would be following up her reports with the relevant parties.

“We will have to see what measures can be taken, in conjunction with police, to address this anti-social behaviour,” he said.