‘Senseless behaviour ruining Town Park’

Larne Town Park.
Larne Town Park.

A robust police response has been urged to deal with anti-social behaviour at Larne Town Park following further vandalism.

Damage costing £200 was caused to trees and glass bottles were smashed following a weekend drinking spree.

PSNI Larne says that it has received a report from Mid and East Antrim Borough Council highlighting “senseless behaviour” in the park at weekends.

A spokesperson for PSNI Larne said: “This park is used by all ages and has a number of recreational facilities and this behaviour of a small few is ruining the enjoyment of others.

“The local community are proactively contacting police when they witness anti-social behaviour in this area and are encouraged to continue this support.

“The council are also exploring the option of inspections during peak times looking to identify offenders and deter anti-social behaviour. Police will give passing attention to this area over the course of the weekends and deal with any offences identified.”

DUP MLA Gordon Lyons stated: “This is the second year in a row in which concerned local residents have contacted me about vandalism and anti-social behaviour in the Town Park area.

“I will be asking the PSNI to once again be vigilant and robust in the coming days.”

UUP Cllr Mark McKinty said: “The issue arises or escalates during school holidays or better weather. Police and council staff are aiming to coordinate patrols during key times - but I would urge parents to be aware of what their children plan to do over the holidays and to make them aware that the park is for everyone to enjoy.”

Marty McKay, event director, Larne Junior Parkrun, says that on Sunday mornings, two or three volunteers regularly clear the route of broken glass, bloody tissues and occasionally slates, condoms and fireworks with brushes and shovels, before the event, which is attended by between 40 to 50 children, aged from four to 14 years, can go ahead.

“The dog fouling is horrendous,” he added.

A Mid and East Antrim Policing and Community Safety Partnership spokesperson said: “Anti-social behaviour and vandalism are not acceptable and we are working with the local community and police to ensure our parks and open spaces are as safe and friendly as possible for everyone to enjoy. We would encourage anyone to report such behaviour to the PSNI on 101.”