Falls and Waterworks top list for anti-social behaviour in Belfast parks

The Falls Park. Picture by Hugh Russell.
Andrew Madden

FOUR Belfast parks have been identified as having “issues with persistent anti-social behaviour” .

In an update to Belfast City Council's People and Communities Committee, council officers said Falls Parks/City Cemetery, the Waterworks, Woodvale Park and Grove Playing Fields warranted particular attention.

More than 160 incidents of anti-social behaviour were reported in the four parks and open spaces in the last year, according to the update.

Falls Park/City Cemetery topped the list with 59 incidents, followed by the Waterworks with 40, Woodvale Park with 38 incidents and Grove Playing Fields with 27 incidents reported last year.

The report also pointed out that such incidents of anti-social behaviour “often (go) under-reported” and said "investment, co-operation and more effort on prevention as opposed to continually responding" was needed.

The update also included a list of areas most in need of repairs - due to incidents of arson, criminal damage and burglary - in the last financial year, along with an assessment of the frequency of the issues.

They include Falls Park/City Cemetery and the White Rise areas of west Belfast, along with Marrowbone Park in north Belfast.

SDLP councillor Paul McCusker, who sits on the committee, said anti-social behaviour is becoming an “increasing problem” in Belfast.

Mr McCusker said that representatives needed to engage with youths gathering in parks to “ensure we are meeting their needs and sign posting them into local projects”.

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