Town councillor calls for ban on hoodies in bid to fight crime
A town has been urged to consider banning people from wearing hoodies because criminals are using them to avoid identification.
Michael Kilcoyne, an independent councillor in Castlebar, Co Mayo, has claimed that a number of recent crimes in the area have been carried out by culprits who cannot be apprehended because they hide their faces with hoodies.
He now wants a full debate among town councillors on whether to pass a by-law making the wearing of hoodies illegal.
"I want them to consider the measure. There have been a number of incidents where hoodies have been used by criminals to evade identification. This is something that is being raised with me by concerned locals," Mr Kilcoyne said.
He pointed out that this issue has previously been raised in the UK, where hoodies have been banned from a number of shopping centres and schools.
Former district court judge John Neilan also banned a group of men from wearing hoodies as part of their bail conditions in 2008 while, in 2009, he threatened to jail a 23-year-old man for wearing a hoodie in court.
Mr Kilcoyne gave details of one recent case where a van was stolen by two young men in hoodies. While the pair were captured on CCTV footage, they could not be identified as the hooded sweatshirt covered their faces.
Mr Kilcoyne insisted he is not labelling all hoodie wearers as anti-social, but insisted that steps had to be taken to protect shopkeepers and car owners.
"I'm not saying for certain that we need to ban them but I am asking the council to consider such a by-law.
"I think shops should have the right to ask people to take down their hoodies when they enter," he said.