NJ Shore towns still struggle to control rowdy teens

Despite efforts in many coastal towns to tackle rowdy teenage behavior, these efforts have had mixed results.

In Sea Isle City, complaints about teenagers throwing bottles at cars and homes continued. Sea Isle announces new efforts to try to control vandalism. Mayor Leonard Desiderio told 6 ABC Action News he was closing beach access at 10 p.m. every night and increasing police patrols. He is also asking residents to post visible “No Entry” signs so that the police can enforce the law.

Sea Isle City is not alone in dealing with rowdy behavior.

In Beach Haven, locals posted videos of loud, rude teens urinating in public and harassing residents. The complaints grew so strong that city officials held a public hearing to allow residents to let off steam. They promise action, soon, to curb bad behavior.

Similar issues have been reported in other coastal towns, such as Ocean City, Point Pleasant Beach, Toms River, Beach Haven and more. Some cities have adjusted curfews requiring minors to be off the streets as early as 10 p.m. Other cities are increasing police patrols to discourage bad behavior.

Is the new law responsible for bad behavior?

Some local officials have suggested a link between the increase in juvenile crime and new guidelines from the New Jersey attorney general that restrict how and when police can interview or detain minors. The mere presence of alcohol and marijuana is no longer considered a probable cause, and officers who violate the directive may face severe disciplinary action. Many union police officials have told their members to avoid confronting minors altogether.

Avalon Police Captain John Roscoe slammed the new directive for making his officers wary of rowdy behavior, and said there was little they could do but tell them to leave the area.

However, the GA office both challenged this premise and defended the directive. In a statement to 6 ABC, the AG office insisted: “Nothing in the AG 2020-12 directive prevents law enforcement from taking appropriate action if necessary. The GA office encouraged local cities to contact them for clarification, if needed.

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