Belfast Telegraph

Two Belfast teens arrested after stones thrown at buses and brick hurled at taxi as youths run amok

By Claire Williamson

Two 15-year-old boys have been arrested after a large crowd of young people ran amok in west Belfast on Saturday night.

Police said at around 6.40pm it was reported that young people were drinking and playing loud music in the Falls Park.

Officers attended along with Belfast City Council staff and carried out searches before seizing alcohol and moving the crowd along.

However after 9.15pm the crowd returned and police received reports of criminal damage to three vehicles travelling along the Falls Road.

Police said stones were thrown at two buses damaging its windows and a taxi was damaged when a brick was thrown at it.

Two 15-year-old males were arrested for riotous assembly.

Police said they took a "zero tolerance" approach to the behaviour and that a file will be prepared and forwarded to the Public Prosecution Service.

Posting on the PSNI west Belfast page officers said: "Be warned! You might not be the one that actually throws the stone, but if you are part of a crowd with this common purpose then you are as guilty of the offence as the stone throwers themselves.

"Parents it's time to up your game! Last night's actions endangered road users and led to the cancellation or diversion of buses, affecting ordinary people who were relying on them to get home."

Officers added: "Your children are getting criminal records. It's time to step up and quite frankly, do your job and know where your kids are. We've been saying this all Summer long and for some of you the message just doesn't seem to be getting through.

"Maybe it will when we phone you to let you know your child is the next one to be arrested, but by that stage it will be too late, the damage to their criminal record and future prospects will be done."

In a statement Translink said they "utterly condemned" the anti-social behaviour.

A spokeswoman said: “Last Saturday evening we were forced to divert a number of buses away from the Falls Park due to stone throwing.

“We utterly condemn stone throwing at our buses, or any form of anti-social behaviour.

“Safety of our passengers and staff is our top priority and stone throwing at buses has huge safety implications, both for those on board and for other road users, including drivers and pedestrians - and cannot be tolerated.

“We would appeal to parents to ensure they know where their children are and what type of activity they are engaging in”.

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