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Death threats ‘will not stop anti-drugs work’

DEALERS were yesterday blamed for terrorising anti-drugs campaigners with death threats and attacking one of their homes.

Reports initially said a gunman had opened fire at the house in Ballyree Drive in Bangor’s Bloomfield Estate.

But police now believe a baseball bat was used to smash windows at the property at 8pm on Wednesday night.

Community worker Mark Gordon, who runs the KeepSafe anti-drugs campaign in the nearby Kilcooley estate, vowed they would not be intimidated.

“Eight of our workers have been issued with 17 death threats over the past three weeks,” he said.

“But this latest attack, or this intimidation, will not stop us operating our anti-drugs campaign in the area.”

Mr Gordon said one of the threats vowed the workers would be “eliminated”.

One of the anti-drugs activists, aged 19, has received three of the warnings.

Part of the Keep Safe project is drugs disposal bins fitted in a Kilcooley community centre, providing a safe and anonymous place for people to dump unwanted stashes of illegal substances and medication.

Mr Gordon revealed that in recent weeks, a mobile phone and lists of dealers in the area was disposed of, which can be used by police to track drugs gangs.

“I’m not going to stop my work,” he said. “I’m a pastor at a local church, and I serve a higher cause.”

He said community representatives had assured them paramilitaries were not behind the threats.

Assembly member Alex Easton said he was shocked by the incident.

“This estate has a great track record for community work and has a positive reputation. It has many wonderful people and that is why this is so disturbing,” the DUP MLA said.

Alliance councillor Ian Parsley said: “This attack is totally unjustifiable. Threatening people with violence achieves nothing.

“There is a lot of work to be done in the area and I feel sorry that threats and violence is what these community workers are getting for theirefforts.

“I hope that these threats will not deter them from continuing their work as they have they support of the whole community.”

No one was hurt in the attack on the house and police have appealed for witnesses.

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