Tuesday 12 December 2017

Residents do not want signs moved

The 'No Loitering' sign on the riverbank walk in Wicklow.
The 'No Loitering' sign on the riverbank walk in Wicklow.

RESIDENTS OF Urban Villas don't want 'no loitering' signs along the river walk moved to a more discreet location because of the positive impact the signs have had on anti-social behaviour since they were erected.

Groups of people drinking along the banks of the river have been a continuous problem for residents living nearby. Meetings were held with the Gardai and it was decided to erect the 'no loitering' signs to assist the Gardai in moving on people who are engaging in anti- social behaviour.

However, at a recent town council meeting Cllr. Pat Kavanagh complained that the signs should be placed back further from view. This has annoyed some residents, but Cllr. Kavanagh maintains that a more discreet location for the signs wouldn't affect their impact.

'It's such a picturesque location and it's one of the few real waking areas in the town. We want to attract visitors to the town and I just worry that people who don't speak the language so well could be put off from having a picnic or enjoying the scenery because of the signs. I know there is antisocial behaviour in the area and these signs were put up to give the Gardai power to move people on.

' The signs don't have to be right in your face. Even in a more discreet location they still assist the gardai if they want to move people on. I'm not talking about removing the signs, I'm just talking about placing them in a more discreet location.'

One person living in the area, who didn't want to give their name, said the residents association had been lobbying councillors and the Gardai for years to try and come up with a plan of action to deter all night drinking parties taking place along the river walk.

' Things have been so much better since the signs were introduced. Before that we have had bottles and cans of beer thrown into gardens, shrubbery set on fire and drunk youths urinating on people's gates. At times we have had groups of between 30 and 40 people drinking at the back of our houses. The Gardai try their best but it's difficult when there are so many people gathered.

Cllr. Gail Dunne made calls for the ' no loitering' signs at a number of town council meetings before the signs were finally put in place.

' Since the signs have been placed up there have been very few problems. No one likes to see these sort of signs but they are making life for the residents much easier.'

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