‘Menacing youths are intimidating young mums’ at NI play parks

Mothers with young children are regularly intimidated by ‘menacing’ older youths during visits to play parks in Co Armagh, a councillor says.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 11:04 am

Parents have had to leave plays parks after suffering abuse and are intimidated from returning to play areas says DUP Cllr Gareth Wilson.

Alderman Wilson said with a spike in anti-social behaviour during Lockdown, there needs to be more iniatives for young people via the Policing and Community Safety Partnership as Covid19 restrictions begin to ease.

Parks across Co Armagh in Portadown, Lurgan and in Tandragee have suffered a huge rise in anti-social behaviour.

Tandragee Play Park.

He said: “As society emerges from Lockdown, schemes and initiatives targeted at young people must be brought forward quickly.

“There is much good work planned from a PCSP perspective and that is important as I feel over the past year we have had certainly a rise in antisocial behaviour in areas and this has been attributed partly to a lack of initiatives and engagements that would normally be taking place but are curtailed due to Covid19 restrictions.”

“It isn’t acceptable when we have reports from young mothers who have felt intimidated bringing their young kids to play parks and have had to leave due to the presence of older children who have been behaving menacingly towards them.

“That is not a set of circumstances that can or should be tolerated and I know I have raised these concerns directly with the PSNI on a number of occasions face to face.”

Tandragee Recreation Centre. Photo courtesy of Google.

He concluded, “The reengagement of these young people will be vital through a number of programmes and the sooner this can occur the better the outcomes will be and I trust that the PCSP can bring forward these schemes and help to address some of the underlying issues.”

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