Extensive damage caused to Bessbrook’s ARC Centre during break-in

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Wednesday, August 28th, 2019

The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has issued a public appeal following a break-in at the ARC Centre this week.

The ARC is located on the outskirts of Bessbrook and provides Day Opportunities for Adults with a Learning Disability.

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Services at the Centre have been disrupted as a result of significant damage caused.



This included extensive damage to property, removal of CCTV, communication cables cut and theft of a lot of valuable items which were being used for therapeutic interventions including electric guitars, drums, amps, IT equipment as well as a safe containing money.

Families were contacted as the service had to be cancelled on Tuesday 27 August 2019 which impacted on their own personal and work commitments as well as disrupting the routine of the adults with a Learning Disability.

The clients had been writing and recording music for a project for over 6 months and all this work has been lost due to the theft of an Apple Mac and Ipads.



Speaking to Newry Times, Noreen McComiskey, Specialist Services Manager, Southern Trust stated, “The ARC offers a much-valued Day opportunity for Adults with Learning disabilities from the area, giving them the chance to develop their skills and enjoy the social interaction of working together.  

“Everyone at The ARC has been very distressed by this incident and the fact that we will have to use public money to repair such unnecessary damage.

“It is extremely frustrating for staff and clients to deal with the aftermath of such destruction.

“The service has been in operation 10 years without incident and we have received messages of support from the local community which has been appreciated,” she added.

The Trust is asking anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity around the ARC site or the local area to contact the PSNI on 101.



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