A mindless attack on Tramways Medical Centre has left the practice facing a hefty repair bill.
Vandals - thought to have been a crowd of young people - smashed seven windows at the Glengormley surgery during the incident on Friday night (October 17).
Staff were able to clear up the mess on Monday morning and there was no disruption to patient services. But Dr Colin Spence, a GP at the practice, warned that if such attacks continue, services could be affected.
He said that vandalism is a recurring problem at the surgery, with windows having been broken and the roof damaged on several occasions.
Dr Spence described the latest incident as “a sustained attack” and condemned it as “wanton destruction.”
The medical centre, which provides vital healthcare services for more than 10,000 people, has been left with a repair bill in excess of £1,500.
Practice bosses are also considering spending thousands of pounds on shutters in order to prevent similar attacks in the future.
“Shutters are usually required for premises security and we have nothing here to steal,” Dr Spence commented. “We don’t keep drugs on the premises. We have nothing valuable in it. We wouldn’t be a target for thieves as such. This was just pure vandalism. We are having to spend money on security measures just to stop pure vandalism.”
Appealing to those responsible for the vandalism to stop targeting the surgery, he added: “Find something else to do. Try to find some other way of enjoying yourself other than destroying people’s property.”
Dr Spence said police have vowed to step up patrols in the area in response to the incident.
Meanwhile, local political representatives say the attack at Tramways is part of a wider problem in Glengormley which has seen large crowds of youths gathering in the town centre on Friday and Saturday nights, engaging in anti-social behaviour and vandalising local businesses.
They have called on the PSNI to dedicate more resources to the area in order to put a stop to the trouble.
• Read more in next week’s Times (on sale October 29)