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24th Jun 2023

PSNI issue warning over children being involved in fights

Ellen Fitzpatrick

Police in Northern Ireland have issued a warning to parents following a number of incidents that saw children engaging in organised fights.

The PSNI are urging parents to engage with their children following the incidents, with a senior officer saying these fights have occurred across the Causeway Coast and Glens area.

Aiming to put an end to these before a child becomes seriously injured, a community resolution notice has now been handed out to one child after footage emerged online of a fight in Portstewart.

Chief Inspector Sinead McIldowney said in a statement: “These organised fights amongst young people must stop immediately before someone gets seriously hurt.

“What may start off between one or two people can quickly escalate and the potential for serious injury cannot be underestimated.

“Younger children in particular could find themselves being drawn into a situation that is potentially very dangerous.

“Young people are adding real value to their local community, however, a very small minority are clearly not, and we need everyone’s support – parents, guardians, the community and schools – to help police reinforce this message.”

She added that police will gather CCTV footage from these incidents and bring those partaking to justice.

She continued: “Following a video circulating online of an assault in Portstewart, we have identified a number of suspects involved.

“To date we have issued one community resolution notice and our investigation is ongoing.

“We would encourage young people not to comment or share what they see, as this is very upsetting for those involved and their families too.

“We are giving fair and due warning that anyone caught engaging in this reckless activity will face the consequences of their actions and could run the risk of ending up with a criminal record which will impact on the rest of their lives.

“Our neighbourhood policing teams continue to work tirelessly with a wide range of partners on a number of programmes to educate children about positive lifestyle choices and to help provide schemes that constructively engage and challenge these young people.

“However, I must stress that this is not an issue that can be addressed by police alone.

“I’m asking all parents and guardians of young people to take responsibility and to know what their children are up to when they leave the house, and even more so come the end of the school year next week, when they are likely to be out and about over the summer months socialising with friends.

“Please closely monitor the social media apps your children are using and talk to them at home about the dangers of getting caught up in this sort of dangerous and antisocial behaviour.”


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