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‘Get tough’ call after arson attack at Newtownabbey park

Police have promised to increase patrols in Ballyduff after a weekend arson attack at a children’s play park.

Sunday’s torching of equipment was the latest in a series of crime and anti-social behaviour incidents in the area.

Firefighters were called to the Forthill Drive site shortly before 8.30pm.

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A Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “The cause of the fire is believed to be deliberate ignition.”

Scorch-damaged equipment at Ballyduff children’s play park.

The facility is maintained by Antrim and Newtownabbey Council.

A spokesperson for the local authority said: “Thankfully the damage to the play park was minimal and council staff are tidying up any debris so the park can remain open for our young people to play whilst they are enjoying the extended break from school.”

South Antrim DUP MLA Pam Cameron has hit out at those behind recent incidents in Ballyduff and New Mossley.

Mrs Cameron said: “I’m urging the PSNI to take tough action against those behind significant anti-social behaviour in the New Mossley and Ballyduff areas over the past number of weekends. Parents and children have been verbally abused and a BB gun was shot at a young child playing.

“The football pitches at Mossley Pavilion have also been covered in smashed glass which could cause injury to players. Prior to some matches, teams have had to lift bottles off the pitch and remove broken glass.”

Councillor Paul Dunlop, chair of the borough’s Policing and Community Safety Partnership, has urged residents to report anti-social behaviour to police.

A PSNI spokesperson confirmed they are aware of recent anti-social behaviour in Newtownabbey and will be stepping up patrols. The spokesperson stated the alleged BB gun attack had not been reported to police.

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