ic NorthernIreland - Northern Ireland News

UDA Warning to Village Parents Sep 11 2003

A DUP councillor has warned parents in the Village area of south Belfast that if they cannot control their children's behaviour, ''someone else will do it for them''.

Ruth Patterson made the comments following an incident near Broadway roundabout when a group of children, some as young as nine years old, threw boulders at passing motorists.

The children gathered around 6pm on Tuesday at Glenmachen Street and used a long metal pole to launch boulders at the cars as they approached the roundabout from Boucher Road.

A PSNI spokesperson said they had received several reports about the incident but added they had not received any reports of injuries or damage to vehicles.

The UDA have already put up posters in the area, warning that anti-social activity "will not be tolerated", and that "further action will be taken against those responsible".

Ms Patterson urged parents to take a tighter control over their children.

''Paramilitaries in the area have put up posters about this kind of anti-social behaviour, and they have said they will not tolerate it. The police are up to their eyes in everyday crimes and, at the end of the day, if parents cannot take responsible control of their children then someone else is going to do it for them.

''Children are out causing mayhem on the streets and their parents have no notion of the enormity of destruction and damage that is being caused by them.

"The simple fact is, someone could have been killed and how are these parents going to feel when the police turn up on their doorsteps and tell them it is because their child threw a stone at someone?''

''Children need to be checked in the home first. At that time of day, these children should be having their tea or doing their homework - not out roaming the streets.''

Ulster Unionist councillor Bob Stoker also urged young people to take heed of the seriousness of their behaviour.

''We are trying to get over the difficulties that exist in the Glenmachen Street area and this kind of behaviour is not acceptable.

''These acts of mindless vandalism have to end, especially when lives are being put in danger.''

Just weeks ago, residents from the Donegall Road and St James met to discuss growing sectarian tensions between the two communities.

Mr Stoker asked both communities to make sure gatherings of young people were dispersed as quickly as possible.

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