Motherwell park violence: parents need to keep closer eye on their children

WARNING TO PARENTS: MSP Richard Lyle
WARNING TO PARENTS: MSP Richard Lyle

Parents in Bellshill have been urged to make sure they know what their youngsters are up to following an upsurge in gang violence.

Police have pledged to crack down on disturbances between rival gangs from Bellshill and Motherwell following a number of incidents at a Motherwell park in recent months.

And MSP and former Bellshill councillor Richard Lyle said parents had a key role to play by making sure they know where their children are and what they are doing.

He said: “Historically there have been sporadic problems between groups from Bellshill and Motherwell over the years, usually down at the area around the Calder.

“In recent years it hasn’t been as much of an issue and with crime at a 39-year record low we want to keep it that way and prevent something like this escalating again.

“As a parent myself I always made sure that I knew what my children were doing.

“Parents have a responsibility to make sure they know where the kids are and and what they are doing.”

And Motherwell councillor Michael Ross insists that the new wheeled sports area at the Duchess of Hamilton Park should not be blamed as a magnet for troublemakers involved in recent disturbances.

He said: “There are many decent, great kids who use the park and the new facility is not where the problems are. It’s getting a bad name unfairly.

“There is a raised area around 100 yards away and that’s where those involved are congregating.

“We’ve even had reports of parents dropping their kids off an picking them up later on.

“But there is a responsibility of parents to know where their children are and what they are up to on a Friday and Saturday night.

“This situation is something which started in the summer but appears to have escalated in the past few weeks.

“The police are working very hard to clamp down on those who are responsible and I fully support then in those efforts.”