Police in Belfast say they are aware of an increasing trend among young perople to use social media to organise what they call 'instances of disorder and anti-social behaviour'.
“Police are aware of a number of recent incidents of young people, sometimes from outside Belfast, using social media to organise meetings which can sometimes escalate to incidents of anti-social behaviour and disturbances," Inspector Paul Noble said. "In particular, there have been instances of this in the last few nights in the Alexandra Park and Cromac Street areas of the city.
"Young people have every right to go about their business and enjoy each other’s company, but I would just like to remind them that what might initially seem like fooling about can sometimes get out of hand and end up in a criminal record which can affect travel, education and employment opportunities in the future. It is really important that young people understand this.
"I am also asking parents and guardians to make sure they know where their young people are, 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 offences.
"We will continue to monitor reports of anti-social behaviour and respond appropriately, including focusing patrols in certain areas at particular times. If anyone in the area is concerned about anti-social behaviour or any sort of criminal activity, please contact us on the non-emergency number 101 and let us know so that we can respond appropriately. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”