MANAGEMENT at Shannon’s SkyCourt shopping centre have beefed up security and secured a commitment around increased Garda patrols to “nip in the bud” what they said was a growing problem of anti-social behaviour by teenagers.
Only “a small minority” were behind the disruptive behaviour manager which Pat Kelly described as new phenomenon that had been “creeping into the shopping centre since early in the new year”.
“Shannon has always been a pleasant, safe place to walk around and shop. SkyCourt is unique as a shopping centre in that it is, in essence, the town. We want our shoppers - locals and visitors alike - to leave with a good impression of the town and of our efforts to increase the range and types of shops in the centre. We cannot allow a very small group of idle teenagers, with little else to do but roam in groups around the centre creating noise and disturbance, to give the shopping centre and the town a bad name. We want young people to come to SkyCourt, but for the right reasons,” Mr Kelly said.
As well as increasing its own security patrols, SkyCourt has temporarily closed two levels of parking to curb “unruly behaviour in the internal car parks”.
“We have had discussions with Shannon Garda, including their community officer and sergeant, on increased Garda foot presence at certain times of the week, as is the norm in most town centres, and our businesses keep a watchful eye on any disturbance to report and action it as speedily as possible. We are delighted with the positive response we have received from An Garda,” Mr Kelly said.
“We call on Shannon residents, community and youth groups, and parents, to play their parts in stamping out undesirable behaviour in the community. Collective endeavour can achieve a lot, particularly at a time when Shannon is positioning itself to attract new business to the airport. The retail sector has been hit hard in this recession. Let’s not make it any harder for them.”