It’s time to take action – that’s the call from DUP MLA Maurice Bradley as youths, as young as eleven, continue to run riot in the town centre area of Coleraine.
The MLA has been had numerous complaints from residents and business owners in the town centre after months of torment by groups of young people.
Bradley has met several times with community police and Chief Inspector Magee in a bid to resolve the issue, he said: “I know that the PSNI have made a number of arrests in relation to the anti social behaviour in the town centre, but this does not seem to have hampered the behaviour.
“These young people have moved on from being a nuisance to causing criminal damage.
“Business premises, flowerbeds, bins and seating have all been damaged by these young people, who I believe are as young as eleven,” said the MLA.
“On Tuesday evening a bin was set on fire, an act like this could have serious consequences not just for the perpetrators but for local businesses and homes.
“I would make an appeal to parents – do you know where your children are, do you want them to have a criminal record, a record which could hamper employment and education in later years?
“My biggest fear is that one of these youngsters will be injured as part of their antics as they continue to scale buildings and run amok in the evenings.
“Now is the time for parents to take responsibility. The police are doing all that they can with limited resources, but I feel that we as parents are accountable for the behaviour of our children – so it is vital that you know of the whereabouts of your children and what danger they could be getting themselves involved in,” said the MLA.