Calls for CCTV to be installed in parts of Lisburn and Castlereagh to catch ‘dog poisoner’

The calls have been branded as “impossible” by the council.

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 9:13 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 9:14 am
Councillor Sharon Skillen

The issue was brought before the LCCC’s Development Committee last week by DUP councillor Sharon Skillen.

Cllr Skillen raised the issue after food laced with poison was found again on the Billy Neil Country Park on the Comber Road last week.

The incident comes after a number of pets suffered poisoning in parts of East Belfast, Lisburn Castlereagh and North Down last year, it is claimed.

Speaking via Zoom, the Dundonald councillor said the situation was starting to be of ‘great worry’ for residents in the Castlereagh area.

She added: “The committee will recall that in January I raised concern and called for CCTV for Billy Neil [Country Park] and last week again there was a lot of white tablets left in the park and there is a real worry for domestic pets, wildlife and you just never know what a child could pick up.

“I have raised this with the PSNI and council already and I don’t want to add any burden to the ratepayer but I think there needs to be a piece of work done here.

“There needs to be a joint effort with the council, PSNI, PCSP and CityWatch. I know it’s a massive site but there is somebody with the intent of putting others in danger and I think we need to look and see what we can do here.

“Online there is a petition that calls for CCTV and I know Alderman Drysdale has called for a drone and something that could also work. Something needs to be done before something goes seriously wrong.”

However, Head of Services for Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council said the call for CCTV for such a massive site wasn’t feasible.

“The issues with CCTV has been discussed several times and the response usually is that Billy Neil [Country Park] is a huge site of 120-acres and CCTV is not going to capture what we would hope it would capture,” said Ross Gillanders.

“It’s simply impossible to police the park all-day with a drone or CCTV. I have engaged with the PSNI with a view of meeting on it because it’s clear that it’s actually an environmental crime as well as an animal welfare crime.

“I am waiting for them to get back and to have a Zoom meeting and I’ll happily engage with you all when that meeting is arranged but I don’t believe a drone or CCTV is going to be the real answer.”