With a sharp rise in incidents of vandalism by young people in Newry City in the last few weeks, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is making an urgent appeal to the parents of young people and teenagers.

Newry District Electoral Area (DEA) Forum is appealing to families to talk to their children about the risks they are taking in getting involved in various types of anti-social behaviour and the impact it has within the community.

Young people have been climbing on the Tennis Bubble in Newry.

Local people and organisations within the district have been faced with thousands of pounds worth of damage following a recent spate of vandalism across the city centre of Newry. This vandalism has been caused by young people, who have recklessly damaged private and public property and have also been involved in verbally abusing residents and staff.

Newry DEA Chairperson, Councillor Roisin Mulgrew said, “We are all too aware that local people are facing struggles that are unheard of due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With additional pressures caused by these mindless acts of vandalism to local work-places, homes, and facilities, it is creating an additional strain within our communities and on local people.

“These actions can no longer be tolerated. The Council and other agencies will do our best to work together with young people to raise awareness and to reduce the impact their behaviours are having.  We also need the parents and families of these young people to take responsibility and know where their children are and what they are doing.

“Education and diversion will always be the key focus for keeping young people safe and it is in no one’s interests to criminalise these young people.  I appeal to parents to make an extra effort at this time to keep a closer eye on their children’s whereabouts and activities. Make sure your child knows how a senseless act of vandalism could jeopardise their future prospects.” 

Cllr Mulgrew added, “There is an ongoing issue around the Newry Leisure Centre area, which needs resolved.  The Council is concerned about recent criminal activity with young people breaking onto the site at Our Lady’s Grammar School and climbing on top of the newly built Tennis Bubble. These activities are of a criminal nature in itself but the primary concern relates to the personal safety of these young people in the event of a major fall or slip from the Tennis Bubble itself. 

 “The Council would ask all parents and guardians to be aware at all times where their children are congregating and restrict those from taking part in any anti-social behaviour or actions that potentially puts themselves or other at risk of serious injury or worse.”

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