Local representatives are alluring for calm after a rise in anti-social behaviour in part of North Belfast.
Recent weeks have been described as “unsettled” in areas of the Oldpark and Ardoyne, with reports including arranged fights, and groups gathering at night.
On Monday, January 3, at around 7.10pm, a number of youths gathered close to Girdwood method where they set a bin on fire in an attempt to block the road.
The incident was reported to police and the fire was extinguished. On the same evening, damage was caused at the Bone Hills (Marrowbone Park) on the Oldpark Road.
SDLP councillor Paul Mc Cusker tweeted: “It’s been very unsettled in North Belfast for the past number of weeks with an increase in anti-social behaviour and arranged fights at Cliftonpark method and Hillview, reports of groups gathering now [Monday night] which have been reported to police.
“Urgent intervention is needed by all agencies to deal with this.”
Sinn Fein councillor for the Oldpark DEA, Nichola Bradley, has called for the minority of those involved in recent incidents to stop.
She said: “I would popularity to the small minority involved in this anti-community activity to stop as you are not only putting yourselves at risk – you are making the lives of your neighbours a misery.
“Statutory agencies must step up to their responsibilities and ensure the safety of those involved some of which are very young.
“Ardoyne and the Bone are fantastic communities with so much positive work going on including from our large section of younger residents and we don’t want our community demonised by such activity.
“We shall be raising these incidents with the agencies concerned in the coming days.”
The DUP’s Cllr Dale Pankhurst additional such incidents are “deeply concerning”.
He continued: “The local community are deeply frustrated and fed up that those involved usually travel in from outside the area to cause issues before departing, leaving residents to pick up the pieces. It is unacceptable. I will be working with local representatives and statutory agencies to have these issues addressed.”
A spokesperson for the PSNI said: ” Police received a report of anti-social behaviour at Cliftonpark method, close to Girdwood method at approximately 7.10pm last night, Monday January 3 rd .
“It was reported that a number of youths had gathered in the area and had set a bin on fire in an attempt to block the road. The fire was extinguished.”
Inspector McCullough said: “Police are aware of concerns regarding current anti-social behaviour in the area and our officers are committed to continuing to work alongside partner agencies, local representatives and the community to find a proactive solution to address the problem.”
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