x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Teen gangs roam streets with knives and swords

Police ask parents to warn their children not to carry weapons

SHARJAH // Dozens of young men, mostly teenagers, many of them armed with knives and swords, have been detained after loitering on the streets of Ajman after midnight.

The arrests, made on Tuesday night, came just days after a policeman was killed by what authorities suspect to have been a youth gang. There have also been recent cases of gangs fighting with swords and knives which made the move necessary, said Col Shaikh Sultan al Nuaimi, the Ajman police deputy director general.

"Among these 100 youths, 15 teenagers were found with knives and swords ready to start a fight," he said. "We seized the weapons and summoned their parents. These are minors and we cannot put them in jail but their parents should show some responsibility in disciplining them."

The parents had to sign an agreement with the police that their sons would never carry any sort of weapon that could endanger others' lives before they were released, he said, adding that there was no excuse for parents being ignorant of their sons' whereabouts after midnight.

On the instructions of Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid, the Ruler of Ajman, patrol vehicles and undercover police have been deployed in the emirate in an effort to crack down on unruly youths.

"It's a very serious campaign that he is following up himself because of his deep concern of the safety of his people," Col al Nuaimi said.

ykakande@thenational.ae