A series of brutal attacks on a teenage girl in Newbuildings, videoed by spectators and circulated privately between them on social media has been labelled “utterly disgusting” by DUP Alderman Graham Warke.
Mr Warke says the incidents that have happened in Newbuildings are indicative of a wider epidemic of organised brawls between teenagers in the district, and he has called on parents to take action before one of the youngsters is seriously injured.
The Londonderry Sentinel has seen one of the videos in which a large gang of teenagers surround the female victim and she is videoed being assaulted, dragged by the hair and pursued as she tries to escape, and pummelled to the ground before being thrown head-first into a fence, where upon her attacker is seen punching her repeatedly to the face and head.
Young spectators in the video are heard shouting insults at the girl and, as the assault escalates, urge those hitting her and holding her down to focus the attack on the victim’s head. Many are recording the attack on their mobile telephones.
The mother of the victim said her daughter had been “traumatised for life” by the incident.
“As a parent I am totally angry and disgusted to see this and to think that this is happening on our own doorstep,” said Mr Warke.
“I would appeal to young people instead of pulling out your phones to video it, to instead stop the fight or get a responsible adult to intervene.
“My biggest fear is that someone is going to get seriously injured. These types of arranged attacks and bullying need to stop.
“Schools and parents need to speak to the young people as a matter of urgency.”
Meanwhile, a PSNI spokesman appealed for anyone affected by this type of behaviour to give us as much information as they can, as quickly as they can to the police.
Any incidents of bullying, intimidation or threatening behaviour will be thoroughly investigated.
n Information can be given on the police non-emergency number, 101, or by calling the Crimestoppers Charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.