Call for alleygating following arson attacks in East Belfast

Victoria Alliance Representative Laura McNamee has called for an alleygate to be installed in the alley between Chadolly Street and St Leonard’s Crescent in East Belfast following an arson attack in which a house was burned out on Tuesday night. There have been a series of arson attacks and Laura McNamee believes an alleygate could help prevent such attacks as the open alley currently provides an escape route for those involved in such incidents.

Laura McNamee said: “This was an appalling attack and my thoughts are with the man whose house has been gutted in this incident. I was extremely shocked to learn of these incidents, particularly given the number of older people in the street who would have difficulty in quickly leaving their home in the event of a fire.

“These incidents are very serious – one house has been gutted with another property backing on to it catching fire. There has been a lot of damage caused to property but thankfully no lives have been lost; however, this very nearly could have been the case last night, had it not been for vigilant neighbours.

“Given the threat that these attacks posed, I asked Council officials to add this street to the list of places that would get alley gates installed and we are currently exploring the possibility of donating equipment and money towards the cost of residents erecting gates themselves. I understand some local organisations have already offered to donate towards this initiative. I have also asked the Housing Executive if they would consider installing CCTV in the area in an effort to identify those behind the arson attacks.

“I believe that this specific request should be treated as a special circumstance and I hope that money could be found by the Council and various other organisations to install this alley gate.

“I have been liaising with the council in recent days and they are going to discuss the issue to see whether the underspend they have can be redirected to providing alleygates in area.

“If anybody has any information about these arson attacks then I would urge them to contact the police without delay.”


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