Derry stone throwers put bus service at risk

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Image caption,
The incident happed in the Galliagh area of Londonderry

A driver has been left badly shaken after her car window was smashed by stone throwers in Londonderry.

It happened at around 1930 GMT on Thursday when Siobhan Sweeney was driving through the Galliagh area of the city.

Translink say they are considering withdrawing buses in the area.

Police say there has been a rise in antisocial incidents in the area over recent days.

Her husband Thomas said those responsible "have no regard for anyone's safety and the incident was an absolute disgrace.

"The words she used were that it was almost like an explosion inside the car," he told BBC Radio Foyle.

"We have a grandson, just two years of age, we have a child seat on that side of the car, and it is completely covered in glass. Thankfully he was not in the car."

Mr Sweeney said he believed children were behind the attack.

"It has to stop because it is eventually going on to someone being very seriously injured," he said.

Image caption,
Mr Sweeny said he was thankful the couple's grandson was not in the car at the time

The spike in antisocial behaviour in the area has seen a number of cars and buses attacked by stone throwers.

Translink said they are considering withdrawing bus services in the area following a number of attacks on vehicles.

"While withdrawal of buses is a last resort, we always regard safety as our highest priority, therefore if stone throwing continues, it will unfortunately be considered," a spokesperson said.

The PSNI said they are working with community representatives "to encourage these anti-social elements to stop what they are doing."

"Police would also call upon parents or anyone else with influence on the youths involved in this behaviour to help by knowing where their children are, what they getting up to and reminding them of the consequences of their actions," a spokesperson said.

Community leaders have also urged parents to be aware of what their children are doing.

Martin Connolly, chairperson of the Outer North Community Safety Team said people are "frustrated and angry" by the ongoing incidents.

"Everyone is doing as much as they can to address this," he said.

"But part of it is a parenting problem, we are appealing directly to parents to be aware of where their children are," he said.

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