Police have described a drinking den used by teenagers in Portadown as a ’death trap’.
In a stark warning over children using the Hoys Meadow area as a drinking den - just yards from a busy road, railway line and river bank - they asked parents to be vigilant.
They said they and local youth workers had already saved lives in the area with teenagers putting themselves at lethal risk.
Posting on the PSNI Facebook page police said the area was far from a picturesque riverbank, “Imagine it in the dark, a wet slippery river bank, broken glass and drug paraphernalia everywhere.
“A road with open access. A train line literally feet away. Now imagine up to 70 teenagers drinking and taking drugs. This is the reality of what goes on down there.
“In the past few weeks alone, ourselves and local youth workers have saved lives - young teenage girls out of it staggering towards the river in the pitch dark. Other kids found passed out, way out of sight from anyone.”
In a bid to drive the message home to parents they promised, “Over the coming days we’re going to put together a video alongside our ever delightful PCSP to highlight the dangers down here. It will shock you.
“In the meantime, however, please do what you can to know where your children are. If they’re asking to be dropped off anywhere near here, don’t do it!
“It’s far better that you get the Kevin and Perry teenage tantrum treatment than you get a knock on the door from us saying your child won’t be coming home.
“Make this bank Holiday one to remember for the right reasons, not forever etched on your memory as the time your child choked to death on their own vomit on a bed of broken glass, or drowned in a river full of shopping trolleys and syringes.
“Teenagers, I had a good look round yesterday afternoon myself. I get it. Secluded, not near houses, not annoying anyone. That’s all great stuff however you know how close that river is.
“What you will not know is how many bodies we pull out of it, or how strong the currents are in places. If you go in and are too out of it to self rescue, we’ll be waiting weeks for your body to resurface. It’s not worth it. It may look like a good spot, but it’s a death trap.
“Stay safe out there.”