Police have issued a stark warning after they came under attack for the second night in a row - with children as young as seven forced to run for cover.
Commenting after an incident in Lurgan last night (Wednesday, October 31) police called on parents in the Shankill/Taghnevan areas to take note.
Posting on the PSNI Craigavon page an officer said: “For the second night running our foot patrols have come under attack on the underpass and on Drumlin Drive. Dozens of bottles came in this time.
“At the time, there were a group of children who were no more than seven or eight years old (who shouldn’t really have been out on their own at all, but that’s by the by here) trick or treating, who ran for cover, hiding behind our crews for protection.
“At the same time, some of the local wannabe hard men on Drumlin Drive started screaming at the same kids for talking to us. Not the easiest situation to deal with!
“First off: if you’re a parent of the young trick or treaters, get them in! There are older kids throwing bottles, and there are those who try to drag us back who will do what they can to ensure they are in as much danger as possible and intimidate your children to do so.
“Secondly: if you’re a parent of the older kids who are out and about, know this: We are not uniformed baby sitters. If we have to go back in, we will be protecting ourselves when we do. Don’t think that the fact your child is under 18 will change that. A bottle, stone, or firework can kill, and if your children continue to put the community at risk tonight, our response will reflect that.”
The officer added: “I’ve been on the receiving end of CS spray, and it’s not pleasant. I’ve seen the results of baton strikes. Those bruises don’t fade quickly.
“If you read this and take no action, and we are forced to take action against your child who is causing significant risk or doing serious harm to others- they will come off second best. That will be on you.
“Get them inside, or at least in line.”