Police in East Belfast are clamping down on antisocial behaviour by asking parents to make sure they know where their children are.
The message comes after a number of reports of incidents of antisocial behaviour involving youths over the past few days at interface areas of East Belfast.
Local policing Chief Inspector for East Belfast David Moore said in recent evenings police have responded to young people congregating at interface areas.
“We have been engaging with the youths and encouraging them to move away from the interface areas where incidents very often escalate,” he said. “I have concerns social media, either purposely or not, bring young people to the interface areas. Some of those involved are not local and indeed a significant number are teenage girls. They must appreciate that people live in interface areas and gathering there for no good reason simply disrupts and affects those who do. It is very obvious that many of these young people know one another with whom they take issue with.”
Chief Insp Moore said on Sunday night two paint bombs were thrown at police vehicles in East Belfast. And last week a 16-year-old female was arrested for assault and a 15-year-old male detained for possession of an offensive weapon.
“I would urge parents to make sure they know where their children are and what they are doing and to talk to them about the danger of getting caught up in the moment and the possible outcomes they could face if they are found committing any offence,” he added.
“I would also like to remind young people there are consequences when you get involved in this type of behaviour. What might seem like fooling about can often result in a criminal record which can affect travel, education and employment opportunities in the future. It is really important that young people understand this.”
Chief Inspector Moore also called on local communities to report antisocial behaviour to their local police.
“It is only with information from the local community that we can build an accurate picture of the issues and concerns in your neighbourhood and put an appropriate response in place,” he said.
“If you are aware of antisocial behaviour in your area please contact your neighbourhood policing team on the non-emergency number 101 and let us know so that we can respond and find ways to address problems.
“By working together, we can make a difference.”