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Thursday 18 January 2018

Specialist garda unit will combat youth gangs

Stock picture
Stock picture

Robin Schiller

A special garda unit has been set up to target gangs of teenagers who have been causing havoc across the capital.

A 16-year-old youth was stabbed by a gang in Main Street, Ongar, in the latest crime last Monday.

The unit, operating out of Blanchardstown Garda Station, was formed following a number of high-profile incidents over the past year in west Dublin and the city centre.

These included a large-scale public order incident last St Stephen’s Day in the inner city which involved more than 200 youths.

The recent crackdown has frustrated the gangs, with some now threatening individual officers.

“Certain individuals have said they will ‘do a guard’, which shows their arrogance. It’s a threat which gardai are aware of,” said a source.

The specialist unit, which was launched earlier this month, will target gangs of youths in the Tyrellstown and Ongar areas.

The boy stabbed last Monday was attacked following an argument in a takeaway.

He sustained knife wounds to his arm and was transferred to James Connolly Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Gardai believe that at least three youths were involved in the attack and that they were linked to one of the groups currently causing problems in the area.

No arrests have yet been made and gardai are appealing for anyone with information to contact them.

The Herald previously revealed that more than 200 juveniles were involved in a large-scale public order incident on Mary Street and the surrounding streets last December 26.

Four youths were arrested as a result of the disturbances that forced several shops in the area to close their shutters for safety reasons. The clashes had been organised on Facebook.

Following that incident, the Assistant Commissioner with responsibility for Dublin, Jack Nolan, said a dedicated unit had been established to police social media accounts to prevent further violence.

“I have people actually continuing to trawl through social media for any indication of anything like that,” he said.


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