PUP Councillor Russell Watton has responded after a number of flags were removed from various areas locally in and around Coleraine.
Speaking about the thefts, the councillor said,
“Last weekend saw another spate of flag and banner thefts in the Coleraine area.
Two pensioner families lost six flags in a blatant sectarian attack. Banners were stolen in Ballysally and Articlave and other flags have been stolen in other locations.
The culprits are a well known gang of Republican drug-dealers who have been at this activity for years. They strike in the early hours when ordinary, decent people are in their beds.
Fuelled by drink and drugs and the fact that they don’t have to get up the next morning, never having worked a day in their lives, makes it easy for them.
My concern is that the P.U.L. community are telling me clearly that enough is enough.
We have had years of this without a single arrest- just how do they continually get away with it? Surely after all this time and with the well-known individuals involved the police could have had some success.
There is a seething anger and frustration which people like myself are finding difficult to contain.
I will wait with baited breath to see what reaction Nationalist/Republican political representatives come up with.
Their silence on these ‘hate crimes’ over the last few weeks has been deafening, perhaps they agree with them.”