PSNI warn young people to stay away from towpath

WARNING: Large groups of young people have been asked to stay away from the Lagan towpath this weekend by the PSNI WARNING: Large groups of young people have been asked to stay away from the Lagan towpath this weekend by the PSNI
By Brónach Ní Thuama

THE PSNI have warned parents to know where their children are after a series of complaints surrounding anti-social behaviour on or near the Lagan towpath and Annadale Embankment.

It comes after several weekends of calls from worried residents to the PSNI.

A spokesperson for the PSNI said: “Once again we are asking parents and guardians to make sure they know where their young people are, what they are doing and to talk to them about the danger of getting caught up in the moment and the possible outcomes they could face if they are found committing any offences.

“We are also aware of discussions on various social media sites, with young people from as far away as Ardglass indicating their intention to visit the areas – some intending to party… please don’t.”

The PSNI spokesperson said that young people have every right to enjoy each other’s company “but I would just like to remind them that what might initially seem like fooling about can sometimes get out of hand and end up in a criminal record which can affect travel, education and employment opportunities in the future”.

He added: “It is really important that young people understand this.

“By all means visit Belfast and enjoy the many activities on offer – just don’t plan on spending time upsetting local residents or people using the towpath or embankment – or you might just end up spending some time with us!”

The PSNI say they will have “dedicated policing resources” in the areas affected at particular times over the weekend, with local police supported by their specialist Tactical Support Group colleagues and video vehicles on hand to monitor reports of anti-social behaviour and respond appropriately.

“If anyone in the area is concerned about anti-social behaviour or any sort of criminal activity, please contact us on the non-emergency number 101 and let us know so that we can respond appropriately. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111,” the spokesperson added.