Residents in an area in Newtownabbey are living a “nightmare” because of anti-social behaviour, a local Alderman claims.
DUP Alderman Nigel Hamilton said youths who had been recently creating problems in Glebecoole have switched their attentions to Hillview Park.
He said: “Clearly there is an anxiety and a high level of concern that as PSNI move the trouble makers from one area they form up in another and this seems to be the strategy.
“These marauding gangs are like wolf packs forming up where they are unseen and intent on causing damage and anti-social behaviour.
“Sadly for residents, the PSNI response to residents’ problems on the other side of the Carnmoney Road has led to increased activity in Hillview.
“The end of the Hillview Park now appears to be an attractive highly organised marshalling area for mobs of young people who gather to battle their opposite numbers coming across from Elmfield and beyond.
“It appears from the information I am receiving they are young men with their faces covered, and all armed with mobile phones for the marshalling activities. They employ scouts to give an early warning of the PSNI, such is the level of organisation.
“What seems even more sinister is the apparent lack of alcohol. They are not here to drink illicit booze, or even just carry out petty vandalism with nothing else to do.These gangs give residents the impression that they are part of co-ordinated activity to face their aggressors in an organised and well planned fashion.
“This is not a battle ground, it is, so far, a quiet residential street and I urge the PSNI at a senior command level to put this intelligence before the District Policing Partnership/PSNI to maximum effect.
“Residents should know that they are not alone in their concerns and there are those of us who listen and respond.”
A spokesman for the PSNI said: “Police are committed to tackling the issue of anti-social behaviour and will deal robustly with anyone detected engaging in such activity.
“The Police Service is continuing to work closely with partner agencies and residents in the Glengormley area to curb the number of similar incidents and confront the problem of anti-social behaviour head on.
“Only by means of constructive dialogue and a partnership approach can this matter be addressed.
“Proactive policing measures have been put into place in the Glengormley area including a greater number of high visibility patrols and this has already resulted in two persons being reported to the Youth Diversion Officer for public order offences.
“All information gleaned by police as a result of these measures — if it relates to young people — is passed to the Youth Diversion Officer. If young persons continue to come to the attention of police then parents will receive letters advising of same. Police will not hesitate to move toward Acceptable Behavioural Contacts and ASBOs if necessary should offending behaviour continue.
“Dedicated neighbourhood policing teams work across Northern Ireland with local communities, councillors and representatives to address all issues of concern, including anti-social behaviour.”