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Vehicles burned as feud enters fifth week


THE feud between rival drugs gangs linked to expelled members of the UDA has entered its fifth week with attacks concentrated on cars.

Detectives leading the investigation into the unrest which began last month are appealing for information following a petrol bomb attack in Ballywalter on Friday evening.

Police received a report just before 11pm that a car had been set alight outside a property in the Greyabbey Road area of the village.

A fire appliance joined officers who attended the scene, and the fire was extinguished. 

The PSNI has confirmed they are treating the incident as arson and they believe the incident has possible links to the ongoing feud between rival drug gangs across Ards and North Down.

They are appealing for witnesses to the incident, and in particular, those who might have vehicle dash-cam or CCTV footage, to contact police on 101, quoting the reference: 2440 of 21/04/23.

The police have also launched a probe into a second suspected arson attack, on a parked van in Newtownards in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Shortly after 1.20am, police received a report that the window of a Ford Transit van, parked in the Upper Greenwell Street area, had been smashed and a fire started in the front cabin. 

Members of the fire service once again attended, but substantial damage was caused to the passenger seat and dashboard of the vehicle.

The incident is also being treated as arson and police also believe it may be connected to the feud.

Anyone with information about the attack, again those with dash-cam or CCTV footage, that could assist with police enquiries, is asked to contact detectives in Bangor on 101, quoting reference number 130 23/04/23.

Strangford MP, Jim Shannon, has called for those involved in arson attacks in Ballywalter and Ards to ‘wise up and think of the carnage that they are causing to the community’. 

“The people who suffer are the innocent and there are too many families who are living in fear and trepidation,” said Mr Shannon.

“To enable the PSNI to retain law and order and to maintain the law of the land, the PSNI needs the public to pass on all information so that they can make those responsible accountable. 

“It really has gone on too long and normality must be restored and maintained. Bring this to an end and respect the community and people properly,” he added.

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