South Antrim election candidate, Declan Kearney, has called for a multi-agency approach to deal with anti-social behaviour at the Glen, in Crumlin.
A man was seriously attacked last week as he walked through the Glen, while vandals have caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage following a spate of attacks in which patio furniture and bins were burned.
Mr Kearney, who is also the Sinn Féin national chairperson, said it was important for parents to take control and find out where their children are as many attacks have occurred during term-time.
He said he hoped that, with the help of colleague Anne Marie Logue, he would continue to lobby agencies to help deal with the problems.
Mr Kearney, who has called the attacks ‘completely unacceptable’ said: “The Crumlin Glen is a fantastic facility that is used by a large amount of people both from the town and further afield including families, dog walkers, photographers, anglers, GAA and soccer clubs, and schools.
“However there has been a series of anti-social issues and acts of vandalism in and around the glen and come evening many people are turned off from using the facilities.
“This anti-social behavior in the Glen also spikes at times of schools holidays.
“The mid-term break alone saw a number of fires, where nearby residents had their bins and patio furniture burnt and a serious assault on a young man passing the glen.
“I would also make an appeal to parents, given the age group of those involved in underage drinking in the glen and the tendency to see greater damage at school holidays to be mindful of where their children are especially with the Easter break only weeks away.”
He went on to say how important it was to address the issue.
“We urgently need to see a multi agency approach to tackle what is happening in the Glen,” he said.
“Both myself and my colleague Anne Marie Logue have been lobbying for statutory agencies to invest in bringing the Glen, a local beauty spot, back to a safe and welcoming environment for all the community to enjoy at all times.”
Last March, a local councillor said a group of walkers were unable to use the car park in the area because of debris found on the grounds including smashed stones taken from flower beds, rubbish strewn from bins and life rings and traffic cones were also burned.