Hordes of teenagers are being transported to a children’s play park in Tandragee to partake on drink and drug-fuelled parties at the weekend.
That’s according to one local councillor who says the problem is that bad the Ambulance Service was called on at least two occasions recently to deal with the fallout of these makeshift raves.
“This has been ongoing for many years on and off but of late it has got out of control with underage drinking and the use of drugs which is very concerning,” said Independent Councillor Paul Berry. “Just this past weekend it has been unbelievable the noise of rave music, drinking and general disorder.”
The situation prompted a meeting with DUP Councillor Gareth Wilson, ABC Council staff and the PSNI in a bid to put an end to the anti-social behaviour.
At the meeting it was outlined how underage teens are being transported from Portadown, mostly by Taxis and parents, with bags of drink.
Said Councillor Berry: “This must be dealt with urgently and we as councillors have asked the PSNI to immediately step up controls, implement a good police operation and deal with this matter once and for all.
“I would also appeal to the parents to know where their children are and to those who drop them of then wise up because someone is going to die if this continues.
“The Ambulance has been at this location at least on two occasions recently as a result of drugs and drink so urgent action is required. I would also appeal to local residents who have been tortured by this behaviour to report future incidents to the PSNI so we can get them to respond sooner.”
Councillor Wilson said Recreation Centre staff continue to face a significant clean up operation every time there is a gathering.
The Cusher representative said local residents visiting the park have felt intimidated by crowds of twenty or more youths congregating at the play equipment.
“This has been a growing and concerning issue for some time and I know that both the recreation staff and local residents are getting very tired of the continued annoyance this is causing,” commented Alderman Wilson.
“It was useful to meet on site on Tuesday morning to discuss these issues along with Councillor Paul Berry and our local neighbourhood policing team led by Constable Ross Turner.
“Staff are clearly concerned by what they encounter, especially from a drink and drugs perspective and the fact many of the young people are being dropped off by taxi and have alcohol already purchased.”
He added: “Hopefully the PSNI can put a sustained focus on this zone and try and alleviate the concerns of staff and local residents and I would also urge parents to ensure they know where their kids are and ensure their safety.”