Pressure to erect a gating option at the Portadown Rd underpass has swelled after a 150-strong gang of thugs attacked the PSNI at the weekend.
A regular hotspot for anti-social behaviour, a local primary school, backed by residents, have been lobbying Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Council to have the area gated.
It follows last Saturday’s riot involving a huge gang gathing at the underpass. According to the PSNI when challenged, the crowd, some as youngs as 13, threw bottles and missiles at the officers. The thugs ran through the Shankill estate.
Sinn Féin Cllr Liam Mackle described the mayhem as ‘unacceptable’. “I have been working with residents to find a long term solution to this anti-social black spot which has unfortunately been ongoing for the past number of years.
“The PSNI have had a very difficult job trying to minimise ASB in this area and they must be commended for their actions.
“Parents need to shoulder some of the responsibility also and should, at all times, be aware of the whereabouts of their children. Equally any parents dropping their child off at this spot need to cease immediately. If caught those responsible will end up with criminal records with lifelong repercussions.
SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly has said: “It’s time action was taken to address the serious anti-social behaviour that’s been taking place at the Portadown Road underpass.
“Local people now go out of their way to avoid this area at night and at weekends. People should not be held to ransom in their own communities. It’s time to look at gating the area. There’s a serious challenge to parents in all this as well. Some parents are dropping their 13 or 14-year-old kids off to these drinking dens. People need to take responsibility for what’s happening here.”