Teenager injured in park assault
Antisocial behaviour is blamed on lack of amenities
A teenager was seriously assaulted in Cambuslang Park on Saturday, June 4, as police were called to a disturbance involving 40 to 50 youths.
The 17- year- old local boy sustained a head injury after he was, the Reformer understands, hit on the head with a glass bottle.
Inspector Jim Gillespie, of Rutherglen Police Station, said enquiries were continuing surrounding the assault, which took place at around 8.40pm.
Commenting on the antisocial behaviour, Inspector Gillespie added: “A 14-year-old girl was charged with alleged disorderly conduct and a large group of youths were dispersed and moved on.
“Th e re have been additional police patrols within the park and surrounding area and this will continue throughout the summer months. I would encourage members of the public to report any acts of disorder or anti- social behaviour by contacting police on the 101 number.”
The serious assault of the teenager has inspired a Cambuslang girl to launch a campaign calling for more activities for teenagers.
Almost 300 people have signed a petition calling for better facilities for teenagers in Cambuslang as dozens of youths are accused of trashing the town’s park.
Launched by 19- year- old Robyn Feeney on Monday, the petition calls on South Lanarkshire Council, the Scottish Government and local community to work together to provide an outlet for 12 to 18 year olds in the evenings and at weekends.
Robyn, from Halfway, started the petition after a fight broke out in Cambuslang Park on Saturday night when a boy allegedly had a glass bottle smashed in his face.
The fight was breaking point for many locals who have seen the park fall victim to antisocial behaviour and underage drinking in recent weeks.
Robyn, who walks her dog in Cambuslang Park almost every day, says she finds the park strewn with litter and broken bottles on Sunday mornings.
She told the Reformer: “It’s about time something was done to change the perception of young people in Cambuslang and also for local officials to help put something in place for 12 to 18 year olds that may stop them seeing the public park as the only option for entertainment at a weekend.
“Of course improved facilities is not going to stop every single teen in Cambuslang, some will drink anyway, but it will stop as many of them doing what they are doing in the park on a weekly basis.”
Robyn, who wants to begin teacher training in September, said it was important young people continued to enjoy the park and encouraged teens to come forward with ideas for activities they would like to do in their spare time.
Robyn’s views have been shared by many people in Cambuslang, both young and old.
Mother of two Rhona Clearie lives in the nearby Tanzieknowe Drive and also uses the park every day to walk the family dog.
Explaining the problem at the park has worsened since school leavers finished for exams, Rhona said: “I have never seen anything like this before.
“There are groups that are happy to sit and speak to their pals but there are youths around the bandstand and their intention is to come to the park to get drunk.”
Stating a solution to the problem is urgently needed, Rhona added: “This situation is highlighting the lack of amenities in the local area for these children.
“I would like everyone to come together, Universal Connections said they would help, there’s Friends of Cambuslang Park - they do an incredible job at the park and have many volunteers - and Project 31 do stuff there.
“It would be good to get these organisations together and involve the kids.
“Perhaps these kids could tell the organisations what they want to do, what they want brought into their community. We can’t speak on behalf of these kids, but, as adults, we may have the contacts and knowledge to get what they are looking for.”
Daniel Lowe, executive director at South Lanarkshire Council, said: “The council’s community warden service regularly patrols in and around Cambuslang Park on foot and with specialist CCTV vehicles in order to detect and prevent antisocial behaviour.
“The service has been aware of issues over the last 5-6 weeks and patrols have been increased in the area.
“The service will continue to liaise closely with Police Scotland and other partners to share information concerning issues of antisocial behaviour and disorder, and if those responsible for vandalism or disorder are identified then the Antisocial Investigation Team will investigate and take action as appropriate.”
Petition Robyn Feeney, left, and Rhona Clearie are calling for more facilities for Cambuslang teens