Page last updated at 11:06 GMT, Sunday, 15 February 2009

Five arrests over estate trouble

Flat damage (pic by J Kernoghan)
Furniture outside a fire-damaged flat in Doury Road estate

Five men have been arrested after trouble in a Ballymena housing estate.

A crowd, including a number of men with sticks and other weapons, gathered in Sandown Park in the Doury Road estate.

A man was assaulted and suffered a suspected broken arm. A flat was also damaged in a fire and a car attacked. A second flat was damaged on Sunday.

Although no motive has been established for the violence, police have said a drugs link is one of their lines of inquiry.

Both homes sustained smoke damage and although they were occupied, the residents were not inside.

Items, including a crossbow bolt, were recovered by police after Saturday afternoon's trouble.

The five men who were arrested are aged 22, 25, 27, 36 and 45.

All of this appears to be associated with what are widely believed to be two deaths in the community which are associated with drugs
Declan O'Loan
SDLP

SDLP assembly member Declan O'Loan urged people to calm down and use "the proper agencies of the law".

"Clearly there is very, very serious activity and criminal activity happening in Ballymena at the moment," he said.

"All of this appears to be associated with what are widely believed to be two deaths in the community which are associated with drugs.

"It would seem as a consequence of those heightened emotions that certain people are taking further action into their own hands. This is extremely dangerous and who knows where it could lead."

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