Fears have been expressed that a new portable drinking den craze may catch on among Derry’s young people after the experience of some residents in the city over the past week.
Sinn Fein Councillor Patricia Logue said that people in certain areas were reporting tents being erected and young people gathering to drink and sleep over into the early hours.
Colr. Logue has now issued a warning to parents to make sure they know where their children are at night and to ensure that they are safe over the summer holidays.
It is understood the problem has been particularly bad in the Quarry Street area over recent nights, after a large tent was erected in the area.
Speaking to the Journal, Colr Logue said: “I have received several complaints in recent days about groups of young people camping out in various locations in the city and the associated problems this has created for residents.
“It has included late night noise, underage drinking and safety concerns.
“I would urge parents to check if their child tells them they are staying overnight in a friend’s house that they are actually are. A lot of children get caught up in peer pressure and when you have 10, 20 young people out all night unsupervised then it can lead to problems.”
Colr. Logue added that while young people certainly had the right to enjoy themselves, they should not be involved in pestering local people in their homes.
“The residents that have spoken to me are not trying to be killjoys,” Councillor Logue said.
“They know it’s the summer and young people want a bit of adventure but when you are kept up all night with groups of teenagers drinking and carrying-on close to your home it’s certainly not fun for them,” she said.
A spokeswoman for Derry City Council said the local authority had not been made aware regarding the problem of on street drinking at Quarry Street.
She said: “It is the responsibility of the PSNI to investigate any reports regarding on-street drinking and under their recommendation anyone found to be in breach of the bylaws will be duly prosecuted by council.”
“Those under the age of 18 who are reported to the Council are dealt with by the police under their Youth Diversion Programme,” the council spokeswoman added.