Gang violence flares at Motherwell’s Duchess Park

NOT RESPONSIBLE: Councillor Michael Ross says the new wheeled sports facility at the Duchess Park should not be blamed for attracting troublemakers from rival gangs in Motherwell and Bellshill.
NOT RESPONSIBLE: Councillor Michael Ross says the new wheeled sports facility at the Duchess Park should not be blamed for attracting troublemakers from rival gangs in Motherwell and Bellshill.

Police have stepped up patrols in the area around a Motherwell park following disturbances involving rival gangs from Motherwell and Bellshill.

The Duchess of Hamilton Park has been the scene of a number of incidents in recent months, the latest of which occurred last Saturday.

Around 50 teenagers, some reportedly armed with weapons, were said to have been involved.

Officers are also investigating an incident thought to be related to the disturbances in which a 16-year-old male was assaulted by a group of youths while walking a friend in nearby Crawford Street.

It’s believed that the disturbances have followed the establishing of new Bellshill gang whose members have been travelling to Motherwell to fight with local youths.

It’s also understood that those involved have been using Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets to arrange the confrontations.

A police spokeperson said: “Recently there has been an increase in the number of reports regarding youths congregating within Duchess of Hamilton Park, Motherwell.

“This appears to have escalated on Saturday night with a large group of youths from the Bellshill area attending at the park in order to incite violence with local youths.

“Although the area is patrolled regularly, Police Scotland urges local residents to call in if the observe groups starting to congregate or have any information relating to planned future acts of violence involving the rival groups.”

The violence was condemned by Motherwell East councillor Michael Ross, who said he had been discussing with police measures which could improve security at the park. And he stressed; “The majority of kids who use the park are great - it’s a minority who are spoiling it.”