Mid and East Antrim records sharp rise in anti-social behaviour during lockdown
Anti-social behaviour in Mid and East Antrim has increased by 20 per cent during lockdown, according to the latest figures published by the PSNI.
There were 4,966 incidents in the borough reported to police between June 2020 and May 2021 compared to 4,134 from June 2019 until May 2020.
By comparison, a rise from 4,060 incidents to 4,981 during the same period was reported to the PSNI in Antrim and Newtownabbey borough with an increase from 3,780 to 4,720 in Causeway Coast and Glens.
Overall, there were 72,061 anti-social behaviour incidents in Northern Ireland during the most recent period, an increase of 10,834 (17.7 per cent) on the previous 12 months.
Police have said: “The introduction of lockdown measures resulted in substantially higher levels of anti-social behaviour incidents when compared with the same months in the previous year.”
Earlier this week, there was strong condemnation from local elected representatives following a graffiti attack at Carrickfergus war memorial which was daubed with a swastika. Glass was smashed at a bus shelter nearby. Read here
Commenting on social media, Knockagh DUP Councillor Marc Collins said: “After the disgraceful scenes at Carrickfergus cenotaph at the beginning of the week, I am pleased to have received confirmation this morning from Council that CCTV will be deployed to the area.
“For a long time we have been asking for CCTV to be installed around the cenotaph in order to deter any vandalism or at least give us a chance to catch any perpetrators
“The CCTV will be deployed for an initial two-month period and then reviewed at that stage. I will be lobbying for it to remain there permanently.”
Twenty-five incidents of vandalism occurred in Mid and East Antrim during the summer months last year leaving the borough council with a repair bill of £14,000.
These incidents involved 14 in Larne, nine in Carrickfergus and two in Ballymena.
It included £2,000 worth of damage to play facilities at Marine Gardens in Carrick and several thousand pounds worth of damage to equipment at the playground in the town’s Windmill estate.
In Larne, there was £2,000 worth of damage at the Inver River path, £1,000 worth at Carnfunnock Country Park and £800 at Linn Glen.
Translink teamed up with police and other statutory partners to address anti-social behaviour at a number of halts on the Belfast to Larne railway line
Police patrols were stepped up following reports of ongoing anti-social behaviour in Greenisland with incidents of stone throwing at cars and young people coming into the district from other areas to congregate with local teenagers.
Carrickfergus YMCA has been engaging with young people as part of a project aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour.
The YMCA Outreach Project partnership between Carrick YMCA, PCSP and the Education Authority has been working across the Mid and East Antrim employing several key services such as detached work, one to one support and the development of positive group work sessions for young people.
Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter
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