Ocean City is trying to get a handle on large groups of teens on the boardwalk but their actions are limited by a directive from the Attorney General's Office, officials say.

The state police directive in place since December puts an emphasis on "social or familial support" and less on being formal court proceedings and limits how law enforcement can approach juveniles.

Mayor Jay Gillian and police Chief Jay Prettyman said three teens were arrested on charges of assaulting several girls Saturday night.

City Council President Bobby Barr wrote in a post on an Ocean City Facebook group that there has been an increase in "bike gangs" that forced families off the boardwalk and stores to close while a girl was hospitalized after a confrontation, according to Patch.

The city plans to take several steps to deal with the problem including the deployment of seasonal officers, increase the presence of police in the city, using unmarked cars to take video of illegal behaviors with officers ready to issue summonses, use public and private camera systems citywide to identify and verify illegal behavior and issuing summonses for reckless cycling.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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