Involvement of children in Derry-Londonderry violence reprehensible, says Mulholland

Sian Mulholland MLA, Alliance spokesperson for Children and Young People, has expressed deep concern and condemnation following the recent violence involving children in Derry-Londonderry on Easter Monday yesterday (1 April).

Sian Mulholland Young people

She has argued that involving children in violent activities, such as those witnessed on Easter Monday, is a form of child criminal exploitation.
Ms Mulholland has said: “Children deserve to be protected, nurtured, and positively guided in life, not coerced or manipulated into engaging in harmful behaviour that could have a life-long impact on their futures.
“The violence we’ve seen unfold in Derry-Londonderry is utterly reprehensible and should be condemned by all in the strongest possible terms. Those responsible strive to achieve nothing other than causing destruction and misery for the local community. Additionally, reports of both the police and the media being targeted harken back to some of the darkest days of our, in some cases, not-so-distant past, and represents an outlook that the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland want left behind.
“As a society, we must prioritise the safety and welfare of our children and young people, providing them with the support, resources, and opportunities they need to thrive. This includes robust measures to prevent their exploitation and involvement in criminal activities, like what we’ve seen happen here.
“I’m calling on community leaders, parents, and policymakers to work collaboratively to address the root causes of youth violence, tackle the criminal networks that exploit vulnerable children, and create a safer and more inclusive environment for all young people in Derry-Londonderry, and across Northern Ireland.
“I would urge anyone with any relevant information regarding these events, especially in relation to the exploitation of children or their involvement in violent activities, to come forward and report it to the PSNI, or anonymously via Crimestoppers.”