Police tasked to deal with anti-social behaviour

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Specialist police patrols are being conducted in Ballyclare following a recent spate of anti-social incidents in the town.

The patrols, which commenced last night, are set to take place again tonight and tomorrow, as well as next weekend.

PSNI officers will conduct patrols in various areas, including a number of housing estates and parks in the town between 7pm and 1am.

Cllr David Arthurs held a meeting with the police yesterday to discuss the recent anti-social behaviour.

Following the meeting, the UUP representative said: “Police have said that if any person is found drinking in parks, drink will be seized and public order offences will be pursued.

“Let’s hope this will bring an end to the recent spate of incidents in the town. Police also advised people to continue to use the 101 number to report any incidents.

“Council’s own park wardens will also up their own patrols of areas.”

There was outrage last weekend when a mother and daughter were attacked by a group of teens in the town’s War Memorial Park.

The anti-social episode on Saturday night, saw a young woman and her mother having bottles thrown at them, while damage was also caused to the children’s play park.

Bottles were broken in the play area and a fire was started, causing minor damage to the wet-pour surface at the facility.

A number of residents took to social media to voice concerns following the recent incidents. Commenting on Facebook, one person said: “I think there should be a more comprehensive neighbourhood watch scheme implemented in Ballyclare, made up of willing, concerned volunteers who could patrol certain areas in groups.

“I think its time for the council to set up more video surveillance cameras in key locations, like overlooking the Memorial Park, if not monitored 24/7 then to be used as video evidence that could lead to punishments for offenders.”