Foyle MLA, Maurice Devenney, has condemned two recent incidents in which workmen were threatened and ordered to take suspect devices to Strand Road PSNI Station.
One worker, employed by NIE, who was carrying out repairs at Linsfort Drive in Creggan on Wednesday, February 25, was threatened by masked men at around 9.30pm. While he managed to escape his vehicle was burned out. Police later said nothing suspicious was found.
Two days later, on Friday, February 27, security alert was caused after a gritter lorry driver was approached at 5.30am by three men stopped the vehicle at Alder Road and an object was thrown into the lorry’s hopper.
Ordered to drive to Strand Road PSNI Station, the man escaped, abandoning the vehicle on the Madam’s Bank Road in the vicinity of Foyle Bridge area.
Condemning both incidents, Mr Devenney said: “Those who carried out these attacks are nothing more than thugs. These men were only there to try and carry out their jobs; one trying to restore electricity to around 20 homes in the area because there had been a power outage and the other, a Roads Service driver who was out in the early hours of the morning gritting the road. Both were providing much-needed services for the community.
“As public representatives we receive so many complaints about electrical supply and poor road conditions when there is bad weather, yet here we had a situation where an NIE worker and a member of Roads Service were doing their duty and carrying out their work,” he said, continuing: “What I found really shocking was that Roads Service, at a time of great financial pressure, are now forced into having to employ an additional member of staff along with gritter drivers, to ensure their safety as they go about their daily work. It is no surprise to the DUP that Independent Councillor Gary Donnelly could not bring himself to condemn these incidents. I welcome the condemnation by other political parties.”