A GANG of children led by a 10-year-old boy has been accused of attacking youngsters indiscriminately in Gandia without fear of prosecution because of their age.
The attacks have taken place across the Valencia province city, especially in the Prado and Slaves areas, leading to a row between political groups on Gandia council.
The young gang leader has reportedly attacked his mother and caused her injuries.
The ages of the hoodlums range between 10 and 14 years with the minimum age of criminal responsibility starting at 14.
Authorities however do have powers to issue care notices for underage children.
The leader of the opposition Partido Popular on Gandia council, Guillermo Barber has appealed for ‘rapid, effective and continuous action’ aimed at ending the assaults.
Barber says that the group attack and berate other children before physically attacking them.
An older victim was a 57-year-old person who needed hospital treatment.
“The victims have reported the incidents to the police so that we can act against these unimpeachable minors,” he said.
“The City Council has launched an action protocol, but what we ask is that this protocol not be forgotten and that it be carried out with the utmost rigor,” the councillor added.
He said the problem is creating fear amongst minors and adolescents when they go out on the streets with their friends, because they are scared of encountering this ‘organised gang’ again who confront the same children several times.
Barber claimed that the parents are ‘concerned about the lack of effectiveness and diligence regarding this problem on the part of council’.
“Gandia is getting out of hand,” claimed Barber.
Gandia’s security councillor, Lydia Morant, said that both the Policia Local and the Policia Nacional reinforced street patrols from mid-December after problems caused by two minors.
She said that collaboration with the Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office is beginning to bear fruit as a process to authorise the detention of the gang leader has started.
Morant also criticised the attitude of the Partido Popular over the issue.
“They appear at a press conference to create social alarm but if Mr. Barber wants information, he just has to pick up the phone and talk to me,” she said.
“I will be happy to explain the work that is being done in this regard, but he prefers to make public appearances to justify his position.”
“I can only thank the close collaboration of both the Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office and the Policia Nacional and hope that Mr. Barber reflects on his behaviour,” Morant concluded.