As reported in the Evening Echo last week, there has been a spike in joyriding incidents in the city, with the latest crime figures showing that 75 vehicles were stolen in the first three months of the year, equating to almost one theft a night, and a 67% increase on the same period for last year.
Lord Mayor Tony Fitzgerald said the people who joyride love to see footage of their dangerous activities on social media and appealed to people to stop sharing videos and images on Twitter and Facebook. He said the issue of joyriding and burning out cars ends up tarnishing an entire community.
Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin also called on people not to share joyriding videos online.
“Putting it on social media is giving a certain amount of encouragement to people that are participating in this. They are committing serious offences and some people get a kick out of reading about themselves and the reaction and all that,” he said.
Sinn Féin Councillor Thomas Gould said the latest crime figures for vehicle theft were not acceptable and more needed to be done.
In response, Chief Supt Barry said they have dealt with this issue quite successfully over the years and they are monitoring the trend closely.
“Hopeful it is only a spike that it won't continue. We are examining that situation.” Mr Fitzgerald said we need to look at why young people act out in this way and tackle the issue in partnership with other agencies and organisations.
Senator Jerry Buttimer also said we need to work effectively with organisations, groups and schools.