Explicit photo found in rubbish ‘the last straw’

John Creaney of the SDLP pictured at the scene of fly tipping near to Churchill Park/Woodside Green. INPT45-260.
John Creaney of the SDLP pictured at the scene of fly tipping near to Churchill Park/Woodside Green. INPT45-260.

There has been a call for CCTV or fencing close to Churchill Park in Portadown, after a pornographic photograph was found among a pile of illegally dumped litter.

The spot is close to a Multi-use Games Area (MUGA) used by children and young people.

John Creaney, SDLP representative, said that given the sensitive nature of the photograph, and the fact that it could have been found by children, he had contacted police.

Personal details, including addresses, were also found among the litter, and he said these too had been taken away by members of the Neighbourhood Policing Team.

Mr Creaney said large-scale dumping was now a regular occurrence, and includes not just household rubbish but large domestic items such as furniture and carpet.

On Tuesday, two abandoned cars had to be removed, one of which had been burnt out.

He said, “I have received numerous calls from residents who are clearly disappointed that the number of fly-tipping incidents is on the increase and the impact that it is having on their community, as well as the high costs and stress that go along with it.”

Elaine Sterritt, of Ballyoran Community Association, said local people were fed up with the dumping which was happening “week in, week out” and she called on the council to “step up and take responsibility for their land”.

She said, “With that photo being found, enough is enough. It isn’t the kind of thing you want young children seeing.

“People aren’t just coming here on foot to dump. They are obviously driving in vans. Somebody must see something.”

“The council is spending money getting the rubbish cleared time after time, They even had to get cars removed this week. But that’s just a sticking plaster. What we need is a long-term solution.”

Both community workers also voiced their fears over potential health hazards of the fly-tipping.

Ms Sterritt said there were mice in the bag where the personal details were found but that rats were an even greater fear.

“We already have an ongoing rat problem in this area and what attracts rats is food. And they are dumping all sorts of household rubbish here.”

“The community worker for Churchill has been on to the council as well. Enough is enough.”

Mr Creaney added, “It is crucial this area is not used as a dumping ground. We need a broader Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon Council strategy that allows incidents to be reported more effectively and cleared up, and we need a campaign to raise awareness among householders on their responsibilities in disposing of unwanted waste.”

A spokesperson for the council said they will carry out an investigation and consider any further action.

Just last week, the council announced it had rolled out an App to allow residents to alert the authorities immediately to fly-tipping hotspots and send photos or videos of anyone dumping illegally.

They added, “Fly-tipping is a regular complaint faced by council, and a lot of hard work and expense is being put in to trying to catch the irresponsible few who are dumping unwanted items.”