Parents asked to keep rein on children after trouble

Parents asked to keep rein on children after trouble

25 March 2020

PARENTS of teenagers in the Killyleagh area have been urged to keep a tighter rein on their children after a number ran amok last week, damaging a number of vehicles.

Trouble flared on St Patrick’s Night and into the early hours with several cars parked at the Kerry Drive area in the town having their wing mirrors badly damaged.

In the town centre, there were reports of teenagers — some as young as 15 — running about until 3am, smashing empty bottles of beer and alcopops on the main road.

Earlier this year there were a number of similar incidents in Killyleagh when young people ran amok in the Catherine Street, Cross Street and High Street areas, keeping residents at this part of the town awake.

Local councillor Billy Walker has condemned those responsible for the recent disorderly behaviour which has left several car owners counting the cost.

He said the trouble which erupted last week must not be allowed to spiral out of control, urging parents need to do more to keep a closer eye on their children.

“This type of behaviour has to stop,” he declared. “It simply cannot be allowed to continue. Why are 15 year-olds being allowed to roam the streets at night drinking alcohol? Where are their parents in all this?

“While only a small number are involved, their behaviour is doing nothing for the image of the town. Given the current situation with the coronavirus, these teenager should not be out socialising.”

Cllr Walker — who has previously raised anti-social behaviour issues with police — said a tiny minority of teenagers “who have no respect for Killyleagh and its residents must know that what they are doing is not welcome”.

He continued: “In my opinion, these troublemakers are mindless thugs who should know better. While the overwhelming majority of the town’s young people are decent, law-abiding and model citizens, we have others who are not and are thumbing their nose at the rest of us.”

Cllr Walker said residents who live in locations where the young people are causing a disturbance are unfairly being kept awake into the early hours.

“People have had enough and the elderly in particular are frightened by this type of behaviour. As I have said before, what would these young people think if there were people causing a disturbance outside the homes of their parents or grandparents? I suspect that they would not be too pleased,” he continued.

He also issued a warning that those who engage in trouble and end up before the courts could be handed a criminal record which could harm their future employment prospects.

In addition, he appealed to parents in Killyleagh to know where their children are and what they are doing.

“The question which has to be asked is why are parents allowing young people, some of whom are only 15, to run about the centre of Killyleagh causing mayhem? Why are they not acting responsibly?

“Parents have a duty and an obligation to keep a significantly tighter rein on their children and school them on acting more responsibly and steer them away from trouble. I have no doubt that parents would not wish to see their children end up with a criminal record, but potentially that could happen.”

Cllr Walker said the time had come for parents to exercise greater control and suggested that they would not want anyone damaging their cars or keep them awake at night.

He added: “Parents need to start reining their children in and anyone who can help police identify those responsible for the trouble in Killyleagh must come forward.”