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Targeting NI Water Site Could Cause Serious Harm

05 June 2015 14:51

NI Water is putting out a strong message that recent vandalism acts at Stoneyford Wetland could cause serious harm or even potentially death to those who are committing these crimes.  The company is appealing for the assistance of the community after the break in and vandalism of equipment at Stoneyford Wetland.

John Griffin from NI Water comments, “This wetland is a brand new type of award winning ecological wastewater treatment process and is being piloted at Stoneyford village.

“A number of youths entered the site by climbing over a 2.4 metre security fence. Once inside, they damaged equipment, removed a water sampler unit and threw it into a nearby wastewater pond.

“The most serious part of this incident is the danger posed to those who entered the site.  If someone had fallen into the pond, the bacterial risks of sewage would very likely result in extreme sickness and requiring hospital treatment. The location of this facility is also a factor, a cry for help would not be heard and it could prove difficult for emergency services to find.  

‘‘Unfortunately, vandalism is an all too common problem at some of our sites. This is the second incident of vandalism at this site in the last few weeks. The previous occasion in May also involved damage to an excavator and water sampling equipment. This incident also involved an attack to a high voltage power supply box which is extremely dangerous equipment. All our facilities provide an essential service for the community and environment, so any damage can potentially impact on service delivery by NI Water. The costs, which now totals over £20,000, is also a factor and creates a needless drain on resources that could be better used to improve services.

“NI Water takes all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of our sites, but we would point out that our working sites should only be accessed by trained and qualified personnel.  I would call on those who are involved in vandalism and unauthorised access to stop immediately before they cause injury to themselves or a severe incident in their own local community.

‘‘Anyone who is aware of acts of vandalism can report the incident to the PSNI on 0845 600 8000, or you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.’’

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