Tuesday 20 February 2018

Duleek gardaí vow to take tougher stance on teen anti-social behaviour

Youths are congregating on laneways in Duleek
Youths are congregating on laneways in Duleek

Fiona Magennis

Gardaí in Duleek have said they will take a 'no nosense' approach to the ongoing issues of youth anti-social behaviour in the village.

In recent weeks, members of the local community have been intimidated by groups of teenagers, many as young as 13 and 14, who are congregating in gangs around the town centre.

According to locals the groups are answering back to staff in local businesses and people passing by, throwing stones at windscreens, smoking hash and blocking the footpath so people can't get past.

According to the Duleek and District Text Alert Facebook page, the local sergeant has said a no nonsense approach will be taken by Duleek gardaí from now own. He has warned parents that if their teenage children are involved in anti-social behaviour they will be arrested for public order offences. They will then be taken to a garda station, the Garda Youth Affairs Office will receive a report on the child.  In addition, gardaí will notify Tulsa and social services.

Parents in the village have been urged to take responsibility as parents and be aware of where their children are and what they are doing.

The page notes there is a particular group causing trouble each week and hanging around the village.

'Bring them home before the Gardai have to do it for you,' it states. A number of people from the local area have commented on the post, claiming they have witnessed the anti-social behaviour and have been intimidated at times by those in the group.

One commented: 'We had to walk past a group of them on the lane with the kids today. The smell of hash would knock you. My daughter asked me what the funny smell was. The lane was in a disgraceful state. We had to step over various objects.'

Another added: 'They are quickly ruining the village and everyone is sick of it. Adults should not feel intimidated by any teenagers!'

Many people recounted how they had been shouted at or had their paths blocked by teens who are hanging around in groups around the Main Street of the town and on side streets near the graveyard.

Another local resident said: 'So glad to hear a harder stance is being taken! My friends and I were after having dinner one evening and we were walking on the path down to Main Street and there was a large stone rolled out onto footpath that wasn't there on way up. Couple of teenage thugs in hoodies waiting in shadows no doubt to laugh if we tripped on it! Was disgusted.

'I was out walking through Duleek a couple of weeks ago and as I walked past a group of about 8-10 teenagers, a boy pushed a girl into me deliberately. I confronted them and of course was met with abuse. Ten minutes later, as I walked past two teenage boys, one of them ran up to me waving in my face. They are trying to intimidate people and it is absolutely disgraceful. It would put me off walking through the town by myself,' said another local.

Yet another revealed they had been passing through the village last Sunday when they were approached at the lights just before Eurospar and a group of youths fired a stone at the windscreen of the car while a local man told how he had been out walking when a group of about ten boys were blocking the footpath on the Main Street and another gang were up on a galvanised shed throwing stones down from it at passers by.

Drogheda Independent

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