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Gardaí insist action being taken to deal with Tralee teen gang

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Gardaí say action has been taken to tackle a teen gang tormenting Tralee. Stock Image

Gardaí say action has been taken to tackle a teen gang tormenting Tralee. Stock Image

Gardaí say action has been taken to tackle a teen gang tormenting Tralee. Stock Image

kerryman

GARDÁÍ insist they have taken steps to tackle teen gangs who have become a constant nuisance to the public and businesses in the town centre.

Last May The Kerryman reported on the growing calls for action to tackle the gang of male and female teenagers who have been attacking the elderly; harassing vulnerable children and tormenting business owners.

The gang have been causing a nuisance in the town centre since the lockdown in early 2021 though in recent months their numbers have swollen and they are now an almost constant presence in and around the town centre.

In May several business owners held a meeting and called for an urgent crackdown on the gang.

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Given that the group are almost all juveniles the gardaí are limited in what they can do but they did began seizing e-scooters from some of the youths, with around a dozen understood to have been confiscated.

The issue was raised by newly installed Mayor of Tralee Mikey Sheehy at last Friday’s meeting of the Kerry Joint Policing Committee.

Cllr Sheehy asked Chief Superintendent Eileen Foster and management of the Tralee Garda District “what measures can and are An Garda Siochana taking in Tralee to deal with anti social behaviour by groups of youths?”

In response the gardaí said that they engage in high visibility foot, mobile and mountain bike patrols and will continue to target areas where anti social behaviour issues are identified.

“The recent issue with the use of motorised scooters was addressed locally with a zero tolerance approach. This led to a reduction in anti-social issues. Extra patrols in the area also assisted with the reduction”.

“Repeat Offenders were identified and have been dealt with through the Courts,” the Gardaí told Cllr Sheehy.

Despite the garda claims to have largely dealt with the issue the gang remains a major problem, even in spite of the far more visible and frequent garda presence in the Town Square area seen since The Kerryman’s initial report.

Business all over the town centre continue to report daily aggravation by the teens who will enter a premises in a group and split up to create a nuisance for workers or shoplift goods.

On foot of our original reporting The Kerryman has also been made aware of several more teenagers – many of them vulnerable and younger teens – who are regularly subjected to harassment; violent threats; physical attacks and vile verbal and online abuse by the gang’s members.

Concerned relatives say many of these children remain terrified to go anywhere near the town centre unaccompanied whole some won’t even enter the town centre with an adult.


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