Schoolchildren in Armagh are being targeted by gangs of youths in Armagh in another worrying development in the city.
Police have confirmed reports that groups of young people are “being involved in an anti-social manner towards schoolchildren”.
As a result, police patrols in the city centre are being stepped up to crack down on the increasing anti-social element causing widespread consternation among children and parents alike.
Neighbourhood Inspector Gary McCullough said: “We are aware of recent reports of incidents of anti-social behaviour, some of which have involved groups of young people being involved in an anti-social manner towards schoolchildren.
“I would like to stress that we take all such reports very seriously, and I want to appeal to those who are involved it to think about the consequences of their actions, which could lead to a criminal record.
“Our local neighbourhood policing teams will continue to communicate and work with those people affected by this, including local parents and representatives from schools, and political representatives, in order to tackle these issues.
“We have also put in place extra police patrols in the area, and officers will be providing a visible policing presence.
Inspector McCullough continued: “We would continue to appeal to parents and guardians to explain to the young people in their care, of the dangers associated with anti-social behaviour, which could result in them gaining a criminal record.
“I would also continue to encourage everyone to report incidents of anti-social behaviour. These reports create opportunities for intervention and prevention by police and other partners.
“Reporting crimes or incidents that impact on your quality of life helps focus our patrols where they are needed and take positive action. Ring us on 101, report online at www.psni.police.uk/makeareport or speak directly to your Neighbourhood Team.”
A report can also be made using the online reporting form via www.psni.police.uk/makeareport. Alternatively, information can be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.