‘We do not want to criminalise young people’ says PSNI chief after anti-social behaviour - ‘Parents and guardians need to take steps to prevent young people from becoming involved or caught up in these activities’

Police have asked parents and guardians to ‘know where their children are, who they are with and what they are doing’ after reports of antisocial behaviour outside a NI youth club last night.

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 3:53 pm

A post on Tiger’s Bay Community Group claimed that “attacks on Protestant children continue” amid claims they were contacted “by a local mum last night concerning attacks on young children walking to and from Mountcollyer Youth Club”.

The post added: “We would advise any parent whose child attends this club to ensure their child is safe by escorting them to and from this club. We will be requesting the PSNI step up patrols in the area at these times also.”

When asked about the alleged incidents Chief Inspector Darren Fox said: “At around 9.00pm on Monday evening, police received a number of calls about groups of young people throwing items at each other in the Newington Street/ Limestone Road area of north Belfast.

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“Police officers attended and spoke to a number of local community representatives who engaged with the young people, who soon dispersed.

“It is important that the young people who choose to engage in anti-social behaviour understand that it is unacceptable and it must stop.

“We don’t want anyone injured or worse. We want people to take responsibility. We want residents to feel safe in their own homes.”

Chief Insp Fox added: “We will continue to work with partners and deploy resources, including neighbourhood officers, supported by our tactical support group and evidence gathering colleagues when required to proactively patrol North Belfast in order to prevent anti-social behaviour and detect those involved in unlawful activity.

“Parents and guardians need to take steps to prevent young people from becoming involved or caught up in these activities. Know where your children are, who they are with, and what they are doing.

“We do not want to criminalise young people however if offences are identified we will deal with these robustly. That is what the community expects.”

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