Councillor has ‘frank & productive’ meeting with PSNI on Ballymoney Riverside Park issues

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Ballymoney Councillor Ivor Wallace, alongside party colleague North Antrim MLA Mervyn Storey, met with PSNI this morning (Friday) to discuss the ongoing issues of large groups of individuals gathering in the Riverside Park area of the town.

These long-running issues have resulted in numerous complaints from residents of youths gathering in and around the train station and Riverside Park areas, with reports of anti-social behaviour, loud noise and underage drinking made to police. The COVID-19 crisis and several recent incidents have re-highlighted the problems.

In June, following a band parade in the town, a teenager was assaulted in the Riverside Park/Train station area. The young boys external component of his cochlear ear implant was stomped on – damaging it -before it was tossed onto the railway line.

More recently, another young person was assaulted in Riverside Park when other females attacked her. The teenage girl required hospital treatment following the incident, prompting renewed calls for more police patrols in the area.

At a previous meeting with the PSNI in June, the Ballymoney Councillor was told that police would begin a ‘special operation’ during the week and weekends with regular patrols in the area. Unfortunately, this has failed to curb the anti-social behaviour of several youths.

Following the meeting with Inspector Burns, Councillor Wallace said: “The young people that gather in Riverside Park are typical teenagers. Most of them are well mannered and decent but unfortunately find themselves with little to do on a Saturday evening. This is a challenge for us all to divert them to other activities.

“As good as many of them are when over 100 teenagers gather in one spot, it can seem very intimidating for anyone to walk through.

“Of course, there are a small element who have alcohol and do cause concern and trouble. The PSNI must deal with them appropriately. It is important that if you see or hear incidents in the town that you either phone 101 or report it online. This way, the PSNI can build a better picture of what’s going on.

“Finally, I’d like to thank all who have got in touch and assure you I will continue to work to try to resolve the antisocial behaviour in Ballymoney.”

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