Parents reportedly dropping off teenagers with booze at Larne glen, council told

Teenagers are being handed alcohol from car windows to drink at Larne’s Linn Glen, a meeting of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Direct Services Committee has been told.

Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 6:21 pm

Councillors heard on Tuesday evening that there is evidence of drink and drug use where groups of up to 30 teenagers have been gathering at the glen area in the Antiville estate.

Residents living opposite have reported stones and eggs being thrown and rocks have been found in gardens.

Council officer Stephen Holgate told the meeting the local authority is working with the PSNI and others to support residents experiencing “awful difficulties with youths gathering in the area”.

Linn Glen entrance. Pic Google

He outlined a proposal for removing slate slabs and a viewpoint and planting thorny bushes to provide a barrier.

He reported incidents of anti-social; behaviour resulting in £3,500 worth of damage including broken paviers which have been thrown into neighbours’ gardens.

“It has just been getting worse and worse over the last couple of months, ” he said.

Coast Road DUP Councillor Angela Smyth said she was happy to support the recommendation.

“It is a bit unfortunate that we have come to this but we need to put something in place. It is unfortunate it has cost us £3,500 getting to this stage.”

Coast Road Ulster Unionist Cllr Maureen Morrow seconded the proposal saying that although the problem has been ongoing it is “becoming more of an issue”.

She indicated that it involves young people in the 12 to 16-year-old age group and groups of between 20 and 30 teenagers with reports of eggs and stones being thrown.

She said: “Drinking seems to be a big problem. Drink is being handed out of car windows. It has got to the stage where a lot of older people at Linn Road are getting really frightened to go out after dark.”

She asked about the possibility of putting lights around the entrance to the glen.

“We have to take responsibility as council and owners of the ground that something is done.”

Bannside TUV Alderman Stewart McDonald asked if police have arrested anyone or confiscated alcohol.

Larne Lough Alliance Cllr Danny Donnelly, who is chair of Mid and East Antrim Policing and Community Safety Partnership, said: “This is a long-standing problem. Police have increased patrols in the area.

“There is evidence of drinking and drug use and ongoing vandalism is a huge problem. There are reports of parents dropping off teenagers with alcohol to drink there.

“Cars and houses have been attacked. It is a serious issue and is getting worse. It is good to see a meeting coming up and police taking it seriously.”

Cllr Donnelly went on to say he would like to see it being “continually monitored” to determine if the council’s intervention has “any effect”.  He also voiced support for the provision of lighting at the entrance to the glen.

Mr Holgate replied: “We will look into lighting of the area, particularly at that end. We will see if there is anything further we can do with community groups to take youths away from the area. It is disturbing when you have cars arriving and handing out drink.”

A PSNI spokesperson said recently: “Officers will continue to provide a visible policing presence in the Linn Road area and police would appeal to anyone who witnesses any anti-social behaviour to contact them on the non-emergency number 101.”

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

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Click here to read: Police tackle criminal damage and anti-social behaviour at Linn Glen

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