Police are to step up patrols in a bid to stamp out underage drinking and substance abuse at prime outdoor spaces in Carrickfergus.
The award-winning play park at Marine Gardens, which has previously been the target of vandalism, and Shaftesbury Park, again the successful venue for outdoor theatre this summer, are among the ‘hotspots’ identified by police.
Carrickfergus PSNI stated this week they are aware of a number of locations in the town that young people are congregating to drink alcohol “amongst other things”.
“Problem areas include Shaftesbury Park, Marine Gardens and the Pirate Ship play park. Anyone who is frequenting these areas and getting up to no good, take this as fair warning: officers will be patrolling these areas, targeting you and your behaviour, police added.
“These areas are for everyone’s enjoyment, we want to see the entire community making use of them. Enjoying the area does not include drinking alcohol, substance abuse or behaviour that makes other(s) uncomfortable.”
Police went on to appeal to parents for their support.
“Where are your children? Do you know who they are with and what they are doing? What are you doing to prevent possible substance abuse? The police cannot resolve these issues alone.”
The crackdown has been welcomed by the chair of Mid and East Antrim Policing and Community Safety Partnership, UUP Councillor Andrew Wilson.
The Knockagh representative said: “It’s welcome news that the PSNI intend to be proactive by stepping up patrols in anti-social behaviour hotspots in our town. The very small minority are giving the majority of young people a bad name.
“I hope that any anti-social activity is reported by the community to the PSNI to help with their investigations.”