Sinn Féin Councillor Christopher Jackson said
For over five weeks now we have seen crowds of upwards of 200 young people congregate next to the grounds of Immaculate Conception College. The vast majority of those are coming from other parts of the city, although some gathering in the area may simply be meeting up with friends, it is apparent that many of those are involved in criminality, underage drinking and can’t see the impact that they are having on the residents living nearby.
I would call on parents to be aware of where their children are at night, particularly at weekends as I am confident that the vast majority of these parents have no idea what their children are doing.
Myself and community workers have had numerous meetings with the PSNI to highlight this issue, it is frustrating that despite commitments to have a presence in the area , sadly the reality is that this isn’t happening.
Residents in the area expect a response from the PSNI when they feel intimidated in their homes, and in my opinion the response to date has been totally unacceptable.
Community workers and residents have been left to fill the vacuum left by the PSNI and on occasions have been verbally abused and spat on when attempting to move the large crowds along. This has to stop and the PSNI have to step up to the mark to address the problem.
It is encouraging that young people from all parts of the city want to meet up and socialise with each other, but this needs to be in a safe environment, with the relevant supervision. I have serious concerns about the dangers these young people may be exposed to and I dread to think what could happen if this continues.