McAllister: Youth fighting signals deeper problems

Alliance Councillor Nuala McAllister has condemned mass fighting which broke out among young people in north Belfast on Friday night, adding direct action to tackle the root of the problem was needed.

Fighting broke out among more than 20 youths in the Skegoneill area of north Belfast, some armed with knives and sticks, with the PSNI now set to step up patrols in the area in the aftermath.

Councillor Nuala McAllister said: “We cannot condone violence on our streets and with reports of a teenager being treated for a head injury it is clear this situation could have ended up much worse.

“But condemnations alone are not good enough – instead of criticising we need to urgently get to the root of the problem, bringing an end to this kind of unrest on our streets.

“While there are concerns this might have been pre-arranged – with social media playing a part – what is clear is that there are underlying issues here and must invest more in our youth provision, tackling the cause of these problems.

“It is worrying that young people are up to this kind of behaviour, succeeding in damaging the reputation of North Belfast. I would urge anyone with information to contact the PSNI as soon as possible so that those responsible can be removed from our streets.”

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