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Multiple reports of sexual activity in children’s play park in Newtownhamilton

'...there were a lot of young children there at the time – one of whom witnessed what happened'

Jim Steen Play Park Newtownhamilton

Concerns have been raised over inappropriate sexual behaviour in a children’s play park in Newtownhamilton.

There were two reported incidents of sexual acts being carried out within the perimeter of Jim Steen Park on Sunday, May 5 and again on Tuesday, May 7.

The incidents are the latest in a series of ongoing anti-social behaviour in the town.

One resident, speaking to Armagh I, said: “All we want is a safe environment for the kids to play in.

“The town is awash with anti-social behaviour; a street brawl happened only the other morning, with police in attendance. It’s a very uneasy and somewhat unsafe place to live in at times.”

A residents’ group took to social media to highlight the recent issues in the park.

“[On Sunday] afternoon a serious incident was observed happening in Jim Steen Park,” they wrote.

“Behaviour that was totally inappropriate and we can only be thankful that there were no children down there at the time.

“We as a committee will be contacting our local representatives in order to find a way to put a stop to this type of thing and we would encourage parents to accompany your children when attending the park.

“We would also encourage everyone to please report any inappropriate behaviour that is observed in the vicinity of the park as it’s the only way to build up a picture of what’s happening.”

The residents’ group later clarified the incident in question to be one of a gross sexual nature.

On Tuesday, they added: “We have been made aware that today there was more of the same but this time there were a lot of young children there at the time – one of whom witnessed what happened.

“All this has been reported to the police who have assured us they will step up patrols in that area. This is disturbing to say the least and our committee will keep reporting incidents in the hope this sort of thing can be stamped out.”

A police spokesperson told Armagh I: “Police received a report on Tuesday, May 7 of two incidents involving inappropriate sexual behaviour in a park in Newtownhamilton, which were reported to have occurred on Sunday, 5th and Tuesday, 7th May.

“Officers are aware of ongoing anti-social behaviour issues in the area. Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with any concerns is asked to contact Police on 101 or report online at”

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