Estonian ministers, officials to discuss tackling problem of youth gangs

Private security guards at the Kanuti Gardens.
Private security guards at the Kanuti Gardens. Source: Tallinna linnavalitsus

Two government ministers, representatives of the Tallinn City Government, law enforcement officials and social welfare personnel are to gather for a roundtable discussion in Tallinn on Thursday to discuss ways how to curb the activities, often violent, of youth gangs in central Tallinn parks.

As reported on ERR, the meeting was scheduled on Tuesday and comes off the back of an apparent outbreak in youth crime, including violent attacks, most notably in the Kanuti Gardens, close to the old town.

The two ministers, Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu and Minister of the Interior Andres Anvelt, are to be joined by other representatives from their ministries as well as with those of two others, namely social affairs and education and research, plus Chief Prosecutor Taavi Pern. Personnel from the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) including chief of the North Tallinn Prefecture Kristian Jaani, the Social Insurance Board (SKA), Tallinn City Government (including Deputy Mayor Tõnis Mölder, and probation officers and other youth workers are also to be present.

"We are expecting input from representatives of all organisations concerning the important problems related to youth gangs and their possible solutions,'' a spokesperson for one of the ministries told the Baltic News Service.

''There is also to be a discussion on how to make cooperation in dealing with youth gangs more effective," the representative went on.

Kristian Jaani had already appeared on ETV magazine show Ringvaade Suvel on Tuesday to talk about the problem at length, where smartphone footage captured by youths or others present at some of the reported incidents was shown, depicting some fairly graphic violence involving both boys and girls. Immediate measures in the wake of the incidents has included security patrols during the night hours in Kanuti Gardens and even the breathalysing of teens entering the area.

The Kanuti Gardens lie at the northeastern edge of the old town, between Uus Street and Mere Avenue, close to the Kalev Spa Centre, and are a popular tourist haunt during the daytime.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: BNS

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