Police call on those blocking roads in Portadown to stop

Police have called on those blocking roads in Portadown to stop, branding the activity 'dangerous'

Friday, 6th July 2018, 10:44 am
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:55 pm

Following the early ignition of two bonfires in the town over the past week, police have said there have been isolated incidents of roads being blocked at night.

A PSNI spokesperson said: "This is unacceptably dangerous.

"Especially in the darkness, deliberately blocking a road fits the offence of causing a danger to road users, as well as obstructing a road.

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"Aside from anything else, it would take up precious time if a fire engine, ambulance, or one of our own cars needed to get through in a hurry.

"Those seconds are precious, and can make the difference between life and death. This should cease and we call on those with influence in the area to ensure it does so immediately. An investigation into that is underway and if necessary will accompany steps by ourselves to ensure that such a dangerous practice does not continue."

PSNI Craigavon said on Facebook: "This day next week will be the 12th July and we’ll be attending events across our district.The local media will be full of images of the night before, and stories of where the main events are that day. What those images are and what the accompanying stories are is up to you.

"Most people are now aware of the incident on Bridge Street in Portadown; the horrendously paranoid, knee jerk reaction a handful of violent thugs responded with to a bonfire being lit. 3 have now been arrested. More will follow. Thankfully, condemnation of that attack has been wide spread enough to assure us that there is no appetite from any part of the community for a deepening of tension or a repeat of such an awful incident.

"Those who have worked behind the scenes to ensure no further incidents should be commended for their strong leadership. Those who ensured that perspective was seen in terms of the risk to life from such an incident should also be acknowledged for their efforts. There is no time to be complacent though, and we renew our call for all sections of our community to show restraint, leadership and respect. An example of this can be seen in the recent local agreement involving one bonfire community and multiple agencies around community residential safety.

"This District has come a long way from the violence that used to beset this time of year. Working together and showing respect, tolerance and with calm heads, we can continue further down that path. Let us be on the map for the right reasons, not on the news for the wrong ones."