Weekend from hell

PARENTS have again been urged to take responsibility after a weekend of horror for local residents at the hands of young people - with the situation expected to worsen over an extended half-term break.

As if the coronavirus wasn’t difficult enough for local people, Steeple Community Association were forced to take to social media over the weekend after a wheelie bin fire damaged a garden fence.

“This is an example of what to some may be a ‘bit of fun’.” they said.

“Its real term is ‘arson’ and can come with an awful criminal record.

“It also makes people out of pocket financially and if it spreads to a nearby oil tank, it can destroy homes or even worse, kill people.

“So we ask those that are responsible to stop and to parents whose kids are out and about, have a chat about the dangers.”

The woman to whom the fence belonged, who was tragically widowed two years ago, said: “This is your reward for being a NHS worker just finished a shift at Antrim Area Hospital.

“I have been in this house for 45 years nearly and never had anything like this.

“It was so upsetting, but I’m okay now.”

She revealed that a friend had helped her repair the damage after youngsters set fire to he neighbour’s wheelie bin.

Earlier, Steeple Community Association had already had to issue a warning, saying: “It will probably fall on deaf ears, but we have received messages reporting wheelie bin fires in a part of the estate and stones being thrown at homes.

“Are your kids out and about? With school closures they’ll probably be out and about more.

“Can we please ask parents to talk to their children and tell them not to get involved in anti social behaviour, it not only scares other residents, it could lead to a criminal record.”

Police Antrim and Newtownabbey confirmed that they had received reports of young people drinking and letting off fireworks in two locations, Antrim Castle Gardens and Crumlin Glen.

“Please be aware of where your young people are and what they’re doing,” said a spokesman.

There were also reports of fireworks being deliberately aimed at walkers both on Friday evening and in broad daylight at Antrim Castle Gardens.

Another Steeple resident urged parents to intervene: “Where are your butter wouldn't melt kids tonight?

“Stoning the windows this evening scaring a 90-year-old isn't good.

“Nor is throwing bangers at the sunroom when's she’s sitting in there.

“Sitting in the sun this afternoon two boys from a local secondary think it’s funny to hurl abuse my way

“Where are the guys who supposedly stop antisocial behaviour?

“Once I get CCTV set up I'll be posting videos.”

And the drama did not end there, with a number of attempted break-ins in the Springfarm area.

One of those affected said: “Everyone in Niblock Oaks area please be aware.

“Two males trying to get into my house at 4.20am.

“This has been handed over to the PSNI.

“This has already been a terrible year. Without this added fear and anxiety.

“Please remember to lock your doors and hide car keys.

“Stay safe everyone.”

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