Parents urged to warn children of dangers at ‘secluded’ Antrim Road site

A Belfast councillor has issued an appeal to parents in the Antrim Road area following recent anti-social behaviour in the region.

By Russell Keers
Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 10:39 am

The move comes after crowds of young people gathered on land close to St Gerard’s Church over the weekend.

Police say some of the teens abused local residents and threw stones at windows.

PSNI officers have been carrying out patrols at the site and have vowed to monitor the area for the next number of months.

Police are conducting patrols in the Antrim Road area.

Castle SDLP representative Cllr Carl Whyte conducted a site visit earlier this week.

Urging parents to speak to their children about the dangers of gathering near the church, Cllr Whyte said: “On Monday morning I met with the landowners at the site and they have agreed to install additional fencing to secure the site, additional gates and CCTV cameras.

“I have also liaised with police and Council ASB team who have assured me this area will now be the focus of their attention. During the visit the landowners took us up through the site and I was shocked by what I saw.

“The place was covered in discarded alcohol containers, used nitrous oxide canisters, broken glass and there were signs of vandalism, criminal damage and other paraphernalia associated with anti-social behaviour.

“While all of us as teenagers got up to a bit of mischief, I want to emphasise to parents across north Belfast how shocked I was by what I saw and that this site is not safe in any way.

“Please talk to your children, ask them where they’re going, and tell them not to visit this site. Its secluded nature and relative inaccessibility mean it’s not somewhere that young people should be socialising at.”

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