Anti-social behaviour and vandalism at Portrush Harbour has prompted a warning from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.
In recent weeks, large numbers of youths have congregated in the area on a daily basis and damage has been caused to harbour equipment.
Council staff have been verbally abused and there are concerns that the issue will escalate over the summer months.
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Alderman Mark Fielding said: “We know the social restrictions put in place to prevent coronavirus have been difficult for many, including young people who found themselves out of school unexpectedly and unable to see their friends. As restrictions ease, we want to remind everyone that harbours and marinas are not playgrounds and should not be used for social gatherings at any time.
“Council staff are there to do their job, and they do not deserve to be subjected to abuse of any kind. This type of behaviour makes their role more difficult, especially in the midst of a pandemic. I would appeal directly to those involved to think twice about their actions.
“Vandalism comes at a cost for everyone, and ultimately takes resources away from other facilities and services. You might think your actions are insignificant but all harbour equipment is there for a reason. Broken or damaged equipment, especially items designed for safety or security, could place users at risk.
“While harbours may appear to be safe, it can only takes a split second for a serious incident to occur. As boat owners return and activity increases, we need our young people to take responsibility and realise the dangers.”
“We are calling for an end to these type of gatherings, and the associated antisocial behaviour. Please do the right thing to keep everyone safe.”
📸 STOCK IMAGE OF PORTRUSH NOT REPRESENTATIVE OF ISSUE.