TRADERS fear a repeat of last weekend after a crowd of youths were went on a rampaging spree through Glengormley town centre on Saturday night.
The youths used social media to organise a meet in the centre of Glengormley.
The teenagers gathered in the area between Glenwell and Farmley from around 8.30 pm.
They were seen to be annoying customers at shops in the area and also damaging property.
A trader told Belfast Daily: “We don’t need this. It is hard enough trying to make a living without these sort of weekend antics.
“I don’t think it helps now that the police station is closed. And then with budget cuts to police they will be even less visible on the ground.”
Local police Inspector James Gourley recognises the traders concerns.
“We have reason to believe that the youths had originated from North Belfast and had arranged via social media to meet up in Glengormley,” said Inspector Gourley.
“A vehicle was severely damaged at a vehicle repair business on Church Way. Windows were smashed on the vehicle which was broken into and rolled down a hill, causing it to smash into a bollard.
“Local businesses in the town centre also reported youths causing annoyance to their customers. Police also noted youths obstructing traffic on the main Antrim Road, causing a danger to themselves and motorists.”
Police officers directed the youths away from the area, which was reported as being calm by around 11pm.
Inspector Gourley appealed to parents to take responsibility regarding the whereabouts of their children.
“There are concerns that these young people are not aware of the serious consequences of engaging in such behaviour and coming under the notice of police, in addition the risk that they take in terms of the physical harm to themselves and others,” he continued.
“Those young people, who are also encouraged through social media posts to travel to locations where they have no knowledge of the area, run the risk of finding themselves at an interface.
“I would therefore appeal to parents to take responsibility regarding the whereabouts of their children and to know what their children are doing to ensure that my officers don’t come knocking on their door to inform them that their child has become involved in criminal activity and is being reported to the court.”