Antisocial youths create ‘mayhem’ in Waringstown

WARINGSTOWN residents endured a Halloween ‘horror show’ as a group of youths ran amok in the village last Wednesday night.

The nightmarish behaviour took place on Mill Hill with residents having fireworks thrown at their homes and police officers needing back up to deal with the youths’ threatening behaviour.

One resident said it was the worst antisocial behaviour they had witnessed in Waringstown and described it as “anarchy on the streets”.

Ulster Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson condemned the actions of the group of young people on Mill Hill.

Mrs Dobson said she had been made aware of the concerns of local residents following unacceptable behaviour of both young girls and boys who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. They were causing disruption by throwing fireworks at properties, some of which had young children and babies in them, and shouting obscenities as they ran up and down the road.

The MLA said: “I understand that PSNI personnel who initially attended the incident, came under considerable pressure from the group and at one stage their vehicle was surrounded. A back-up team was necessary and it is understood that several youths were detained for questioning following a considerable find of alcohol and fireworks. A further follow up was carried out by police personnel before midnight when the situation was under control.

“One concerned local resident has told me that there have been many reported incidents of antisocial behaviour in Waringstown over the last number of years, but this is the worst that they have witnessed and was tantamount to anarchy on the streets.

“A group of between 12 and 15 young girls and boys were running wild and causing absolute mayhem. When the police came, the group surrounded them, shouting obscenities and taunting the two police personnel. Some of the group hid bottles of drink in residents’ gardens and later retrieved these when the police went. Residents were alarmed at this incident and many felt complete hostages in their own homes.”

The Ulster Unionist politician concluded: “I have already had a number of discussions with senior police but it is clear to me that what is required is more joint co-operation with other key agencies including the council, social workers, churches and schools.”

The PSNI confirmed officers on patrol in Waringstown on Halloween night dealt with a number of antisocial behaviour incidents throughout the course of the night.

Officers made a number of arrests for disorderly behaviour and seized alcohol and fireworks.

Inspector Ken Annett, Lurgan Neighbourhood Policing Team, said:

“Anti-social behaviour can be intimidating and frightening for residents

“I would ask anyone interested in working with us to address these types of issues in their neighbourhood to contact us in Lurgan on 0845 600 8000.”

Have you been affected by antisocial behaviour in Waringstown? Text us your views to 84555, starting your message with LMCOMMENT.