Belfast Telegraph

PSNI in Glengormley vows to crack down on weekend yobbery

By Claire O'Boyle

Police in Glengormley are operating with "additional resources" this weekend in an effort to calm spiralling anti-social behaviour in the town.

Last weekend a young person was caught carrying a knife and a car was burnt out.

Officers have appealed once again to parents to keep an eye on children and teenagers who are flocking to the Co Antrim town every Friday and Saturday night, often in crowds of more than 100.

The latest bump in resources comes the week after 120 young people packed into the town centre on Friday night, bringing traffic to a standstill on the Antrim Road.

There is concern among residents that the gatherings are pre-planned and coordinated on social media, with children as young as 11 being dropped off in the town centre by parents or arriving from across Antrim and Belfast by bus.

On its Facebook page, PSNI Newtownabbey said: "Police are currently investigating a number of criminal offences linked to young people misbehaving in Glengormley last weekend.

"You will already be aware that one youth was found to be carrying a kitchen knife.

"We would like to reassure everyone in the community that, should there be any repeat in Glengormley this weekend, police have put additional resources in place and are fully prepared to deal robustly with any youths involved in any anti-social behaviour or breaking the law."

Chief Inspector Arthur Davidson added: "While we have no definitive evidence to confirm that this activity was orchestrated or planned, it is logical to look at whether social media played a role in bringing such large numbers of young people together.

"Parents should also be aware that this is occurring and help to prevent young people from becoming involved or caught up in these activities."

Alliance councillor John Blair witnessed the mayhem at first-hand last Friday, and said that something drastic needed to be done.

He added: "It's a problem that's been going on for years, but in terms of the numbers of kids, it's getting out of hand, and to think a child was caught with a knife last week is really worrying."

Belfast Telegraph

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