Warning over Shantallow gang fights

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A Shantallow mother has warned of gang fights in the area after an incident where teenagers armed with machetes and hatchets gathered in a local park to fight.

Sandra Cairns said her teenage son had been in the park in Shantallow last week on Tuesday evening when a group of teenagers, aged between 14 and 17 years-old gathered for what appeared to be a prearranged fight.

She said a number of the teenagers then produced weapons, including a hammer, hatchet and a machete, and warned other young people in the park not to attempt to break up the fight.

“It was a very frightening experience,” she said. “It is very worrying that children this age are carrying such weapons.Fighting is bad enough but weapons like this make it much more serious. My fear is that if one group of young people are carrying weapons then other groups will think they need to as well and someone will end up getting seriously hurt or possibly worse.

“I just wanted to let other parents know what is happening in the area because I was very concerned,” she said.

A spokesperson for the PSNI said; “Police attended the scene of anti-social behaviour in the Drumleck Drive area of Shantallow on Tuesday, 15th January. At approximately 7pm police arrived at the area where 40-50 youths had gathered. Upon police arrival the youths made off.”

Police would encourage anyone who may be experiencing anti-social behaviour to report incidents to police either directly through the Central Neighbourhood Policing Officers or alternatively you can ring 0845 600 8000.