‘Grave concern’ at anti-social behaviour in the area of Newtownabbey’s V36 park

Antrim and Newtownabbey Policing and Community Safety Partnership has “grave concerns” over ongoing anti-social behaviour in the area of V36 park, the council’s Community Planning Committee was told at a meeting on Monday evening.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 8:20 am

PCSP memberThreemilewater Councillor Mark Cooper told  committee members that police have warned that it is time to move towards “enforcement”.

He said that a specific anti-social behaviour strategy is needed for the V36 area in Newtownabbey.

“We don’t want young people getting a criminal record at that age which would be with them for life,” Cllr Cooper added.

The V36 area in Newtownabbey is a flashpoint for anti-social behaviour

The Community Planning Committee was discussing the development of an Anti-Social Behaviour Strategy for the borough which would involve engaging with key statutory partners which are also already engaged in tackling anti-social behaviour on the ground such as the PSNI, Housing Executive, Translink, Youth Justice Agency, Education Authority and Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service.

It is proposed to follow a model recently implemented amongst different council areas in Scotland.

Recently, a new motorcycle safety awareness project was rolled out at Global Point in Newtownabbey in a bid to educate riders and tackle anti-social behaviour linked to the use of off-road motorcycles in the borough.

Anti-social behaviour has increased in Antrim and Newtownabbey from 4,429 incidents reported to the PSNI between September 2019 and August 2020 to 4,673, between September 2020 and August 2021.

A spate of attacks at the war memorial during which poppy wreaths were destroyed at the Lilian Bland Park cenotaph in Glengormley has been roundly condemned.

Antrim and Newtownabbey PCSP stated previously: “The PCSP believes that all young people deserve the right to enjoy their childhood and formative years, engage with friends and enjoy our parks and public spaces – as do all residents and visitors to our borough.

“However, we do regularly see behaviour which makes us concerned about the safety of some young people who gather in groups and engage in anti-social behaviour.

“We would also encourage parents to talk to their children and would advocate good, open communication highlighting the many risks and potential consequences of drinking, taking drugs and getting involved in anti-social behaviour to ensure young people are well informed, supported and to empower them to make positive choices.”

Praising a successful reduction in anti-social behaviour at Crumlin Glen, Airport Ulster Unionist Alderman Paul Michael said: “We do not need to look at Scotland for guidance or any other model. We have got our own model and done a fantastic job.”

Threemilewater Alliance Councillor Julie Gilmour, chair of Antrim and Newtownabbey PCSP, commented: “We all know there has been anti-social behaviour across the borough. I am glad to see this coming forward.”

Antrim DUP Councillor Paul Dunlop stated that anti-social behaviour has “escalated” during Covid and Halloween is “turning into the biggest anti-social event of the year”.

Glengormley SDLP Councillor Noreen McClelland noted that the PCSP has worked “tirelessly to tackle anti-social behaviour”.

She went on to say that she was glad to see the new strategy coming forward.

“When residents raise concerns, we have to address them. I think this is the best way forward.”

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

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Click here to read: CCTV cameras to be replaced in Glengormley

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