It has been reported to Crossakiel.com that there has been an increase in vandalism and bad behaviour in Crossakiel over the last couple of years. Just tonight, we were told of a couple of boys doing "nick nack" on some doors in the Cairns estate. Unlucky for them, we actually have a camera picture of one of the boys. This boy was about 5ft 5 inches with short hair, skinny with glasses.
Some people might say, "boys will be boys" to excuse anti-social behaviour and we can all understand that to a certain extent, but where does it stop? Across the village, the vandalism reported ranges from damage caused behind the handball alley to windows being smashed at the new cosy corner development.
Now a number of residents have confided in crossakiel.com to say they have a very good idea who these boys are, they feel that they live in the Cairns estate and that these boys have been in trouble with the Gardai before. If that is the case, then the parents obviously know that they are causing trouble but they do not seem bothered about it as it is still carrying on. Is this the way you should be bringing up your kids? To be disrespectful to your neighbours and to other peoples property?
These boys may be minors and according to the Gardai, there is nothing that can be done about it, but based on the conversations with local residents, it was made apparent that this issue may be dealt with in other ways without the need for the gardai, if they continue their bad behaviour.
The idea of a neighbourhood watch patrol has been mentioned but this would take the effort of the local community to come on board and get organised. Unfortunately in the past, residents have tried to get a committee together but with so many agenda's and alternative view points, they never got off the ground. Maybe the patrol would not required a committee, rather a number of residents just taking an evening stroll around the village a few times in the evening. They also say walking is good for you, so you have the benefit of helping the community and getting some exercise in.
I would also ask all parents who have children under the age of 18 to ask then where they are going and where they were, if they are just going out to walk or coming back from around the village. Obviously we do not want to imply that all teenagers are looking to cause anti-social behaviour, but parents tend to know what their kids are like.
The law of Trespass. Anytime anyone goes onto land that they are not invited to or have permission to, they are trespassing. The law is very clear about this and there are rules also for minors being arrested for criminal damage.
It is an offence to trespass in a way that is likely to cause fear in another person. This offence does not include any intent to commit a crime or to interfere with property. A person found guilty of this offence is liable on summary conviction to a Class C fine, or to a maximum term of imprisonment of 12 month, or both.
A Garda can direct anyone they find trespassing in a way that causes, or is likely to cause fear in another person, to stop acting in that way and to immediately leave the area in a peaceable and orderly manner. If the person fails to comply with this direction they are guilty of an offence, unless they have a reasonable excuse or lawful authority not to comply. If you are found guilty of this offence you are liable to a class D fine, or to a maximum term in prison of 6 months, or both.
Age of Criminal Responsibility
The age of criminal responsibility is covered by Section 52 of the Children Act 2001 as amended by Section 129 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006. This came into effect in October 2006, raising the age of criminal responsibility from 7 years of age to 12 years of age. This means that children who have not reached the age of 12 years cannot be charged with an offence. There is an exception, however, for children aged 10 or 11 who can be charged with murder, manslaughter, rape or aggravated sexual assault. In addition, where a child under 14 years of age is charged with an offence, no further proceedings can be taken without the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Although the 2001 Act in general prohibits children under 12 years of age from being charged and convicted of a criminal offence, they do not enjoy total immunity from action being taken against them. Section 53 of the Act as amended by Section 130 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 places an onus on the Gardai to take a child under 12 years of age to his/her parents or guardian, where they have reasonable grounds for believing that the child has committed an offence with which the child cannot be charged due to the child’s age. Where this is not possible the Gardai will arrange for the child to be taken into the custody of the Child and Family Agency (Tusla) for the area in which the child normally resides. It is possible that children under 12 years of age who commit criminal offences will be dealt with by Tusla and not the criminal justice system.
Detention of a child
Under Section 142 of the Children Act 2001, a court may impose a period of detention on a child. Children between the ages of 10 and 16 sentenced by the courts to a period of detention are sent to the Oberstown Children Detention Campus. 17-year-olds sentenced after 31 March 2017 are also sent to the Oberstown Children Detention Campus.
If anyone is interested in being involved in a neighbourhood watch patrol, email us at
We have received more footage of these young boys, again, trespassing on residents property and causing anti-social behaviour. As you can see from the video footage, these boys (as it is obviously that they are boys) are walking back from the village and decide, or maybe, one of them dares the other to jump the garden wall and ring the door bell. It seems to be the same house over and over again? Why? So, we are beginning to form a picture of who these boys are. They obviously live in the Cairns Estate, they could be brothers or friends and they are aged between 13 and 16 years of age.
So, where were your boy(s) in the evening of the 21st of March 2022 at around 8:57pm in the evening. After this we can assume that they would of went home to their house. Now, some people might say that they are just having a bit of fun? Well, as some residents know, there has been vandalism behind the Handball Alley and at the Cosy Corner. Question: Are these the two boys who are responsible for the vandalism?
It's up the parents to start asking questions if their kids are out in the evening and hanging around the village. Over time, we will build up a profile of these two boys and eventually find out who they are, it is only a matter of time. I hope the parents of these kids see this footage and put a stop to this before it goes too far. We will be passing all information over to the Gardai as I'm sure the Gardai might want to talk to these boys about the vandalism in the village and their nocturnal behaviour!