But they have warned islanders not to demonise young people, as only a small minority are causing the issues.
Matters came to a head this week, after more than 200 young people were involved in an incident at La Mare de Carteret on Sunday during which a number of fights took place on the playing fields. Four arrests have been made so far– three juveniles and one 21 year-old. One person was taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Further action is expected.
It marks the continuation of a crime wave, including the recent vandalism of the Hudge roadside stall, an incident at La Vallette bathing pools and another at the bus terminus, which have been described by police to be ‘hotspot areas’.
‘We have seen an increase in disorder that is linked with juveniles. There has been well publicised disorder at the bathing pools, damage and thefts at hedge veg boxes, and kiosks have been damaged. We have also seen a number of these aforementioned arranged fights,’ said Inspector Liam Johnson.
Police could not confirm whether the island had issues to this extent before, but described it as a ‘revolving door’ of re-occurring behaviour.
‘They get to their teenage years and get involved in risky behaviours, then those groups tend to grow out of it when they get to a certain age. Then we see a new group that come through – it is just a revolving door,’ said Inspector Johnson.
‘We shouldn’t be in fear of going out to just do a simple task and go to the shops or walk across a field.’
Some of the young people involved were believed to have been supplied with medically prescribed cannabis.
Although the large-scale fight took place near to the Cobo balcony gig, police said they are not treating the incident in connection to the event.
‘We know that the people who arrange it do the best they can to try and pull together security in the area and make sure everything goes smoothly and it’s about the community enjoying themselves – we don’t want to be a part of removing that.’
He said increased patrols would be deployed to problem areas.
‘Our focus going forwards will be on a high-visibility response to reassure and protect the community. We will be ensuring there are patrols in specific problem areas, and will always be ready to respond to incidents such as the one this Sunday.
‘The community can rest assured that we will tackle these sorts of anti-social and criminal behaviours, taking proportionate action, working with other partners, and ultimately, if needed, the courts. As we do this, we would equally urge parents to take proactive and positive steps to manage the behaviour of their children.’
Police commended the actions of members of the public who separated two people from fighting, but said people should not have to put themselves in harm’s way to combat violence.
Liberation Day celebrations took place around the island the next day, but fewer arrests were made compared to previous years.
Anyone who witnessed the incident at La Mare de Carteret playing fields is asked to contact the police on 222222 or anonymously on Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.