A SPIKE in antisocial behaviour in Sion Mills is being blamed on an ever increasing prevalence of drugs.
Three separate incidents of antisocial behaviour occurred recently, at least two of which are being attributed to drug use.
Community activist and independent candidate at the forthcoming council elections, Andy Patton says because the village has been quiet for so long, the upsurge in nefarious activity is all the more noticeable.
“There are definitely drugs on the go,” Mr Patton said this week.
“There were three separate incidents on Saturday, the first of these happened at the northern end of the village. Reports were that young people were hanging around and urinating on people’s properties and in the full view of the general public. This happened at around 8.30pm.
“The next call I received was about a young man and two girls walking and dancing along the main street in the village, heavily intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. This is really concerning because they could have been killed.
“The third thing on Saturday was, I got a call that a young person had fallen unconscious in the middle of the village. He was OK and he was up on his feet after a while but he had obviously taken too much of what he had.”
Mr Patton confirmed police were called on Saturday night and did attend.
However the local man appealed to parents to be aware that drugs are becoming more available in the area.
“The drug element is worrying,” he continued. “And some of the drugs are lethal.
“I know of two places locally when young people go to take drugs and I’ll be checking these places this week to see if they’re being used again.”
Following the trio of incidents, police have warned over the impact of criminal convictions.
PSNI Inspector Cummings said, “I would appeal to parents to always know where their children are and what they are doing.
“Young people should think about the impact of getting a criminal conviction, which could damage opportunities to travel, study or get the job they want.”
He continued, “While we do not believe there has been a spike in antisocial behaviour in the area, we do understand the effect that such behaviour can have on communities.
“We are committed to finding solutions to address it; however, these solutions cannot be found by police alone.
“Please continue to report any incidents to us. Information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100 per-cent anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”