Slieve Croob SDLP Councillor Mark Murnin has condemned the behaviour of young people in two local play parks.
He said: “Last Wednesday the people of Ballykinlar discovered that the play park next to the pre-school playgroup had paint thrown over the equipment.
“When the group contacted me about the incident, I liaised with Council staff who visited the site on Thursday to inspect the damage.
““When on site I called with the playgroup to be told that they regularly have to remove broken glass and litter before letting the children enter the play area.
“Each time they take the children out to the playpark now they have to make up a risk assessment and this in itself is causing an extra workload for the playgroup.
“Whilst I appreciate that there may not be a lot for young people in Ballykinlar at this time, we need them to show respect for the younger children who use the playpark.”
Following a separate incident in another playpark, Cllr Murnin spoke out saying: “This week has also seen the playpark at Ballynahinch Community Centre having to be closed in line with the centre opening times due to anti-social behaviour.
“I am disgusted by the complete lack of regard some people are showing to the children in our area.
“Council staff have discovered knives and evidence of drug taking in the park that includes discarded needles.
“It is staggering that people cannot see the potential harm these could cause to a child. Thirteen/fourteen year olds are mixing with older youths which makes me very concerned for their safety.
“Parents are more than likely not aware of the harm their children my be exposed too.”