Westport Town Council have gone ‘soft’ on anti-social behaviour in housing estates according to a councillor who has called for tenants who engage or allow visitors to their home to partake in such activity to be evicted.
Cllr Christy Hyland said that ‘gurriers’ were putting fear into ordinary members of the community and were also engaged in criminal activity. He told last week’s Westport Joint Policing Committee meeting that local authority tenants should sign agreements on their behaviour and if they engage in anti-social behaviour they should be evicted.
Cllr Hyland added that people were coming into Westport and committing crime while staying with families in local authority housing and leaving again.
“If they are in breach of an agreement we should put them out,” said Cllr Hyland. “They [criminals] are coming down from the cities and staying in homes [in Westport] and engaging in criminality and going back. That should be a breach of a tenants agreement. We have gone soft in my opinion.… they are involved in criminality and we must call a spade a spade.”
He was supported by Independent councillor Martin Keane who commented that people were living in fear in some estates and added that there was a perception that nothing was being done about it.
“Westport is a wonderful town to live in but people are afraid to come out into the town at night. There is late night vandalism, we are not denying it does go on and people have the right to be protected. I do not want two or three hoodlums destroying the town,” he said.
Superintendent Aiden Foley explained that the public were entitled to know how an investigation was proceeding but within reason. He also refuted the suggestion that nobody was being taken to task regarding incidents in the town saying that the courts were full and there were a lot of arrests since he arrived in February.