Action plans and projects by Police Scotland in Levenmouth helped officers quell many seasonal cases of anti-social behaviour.
With the winter months now approaching, senior officers concluded last week that initiatives designed to combat troublesome conduct had been largely successful through the summer.
Chief Inspector Adrian Annandale told elected representatives at Fife Council’s Levenmouth area committee meeting, in Buckhaven High School, there had been a “dramatic decrease” in such incidents at Leven’s Shorehead, one of the most frequent locations in the area for disorder.
Other “areas of concern” included Letham Glen, the Bawbee Bridge, Scoonie and Kennoway.
Action Plan Shorehead had played a big role in neutralising difficult behaviour, said CI Annandale.
“Action Plan Shorehead is a living document and effectively a toolkit designed to address anti-social behaviour and violence,” he added. “Its tactics and techniques allow us to respond quickly and restore public confidence in affected areas. It will continue through the forthcoming year.”
The number of drunken youths had decreased, thanks in part to effective work with licensed premises and the efforts of the Youth Alcohol and Violence Reduction Officer (YAVRO) – PC Richard Cartwright – who also had strong links with local schools, helpiing to reduce potential conflict and dissuade some youngsters from drifting into crime.
Diversionary measures by area ward officers and detached youth workers, who engaged gatherings of youths in other activities, also helped cut anti-social behaviour around Leven and Kennoway, added CI Annandale.
Illegal use of off-road motor cycles continued to be a problem in Levenmouth, but daily management meant reported incidents were falling while detection rates rose.
Councillor Ally Hunter said he was in favour of police trying to steer young people away from crime but stressed not everybody needed a lecture on it.
The vast majority of local young people were “an absolute privilege and an asset to work alongside” and the impression should not be given that everyone needed engagement against anti-social conduct. He also said “diversion” techniques often just moved problems elsewhere. Community Inspector Tom Brown said diversion meant a managed approach – prevention, enforcement and engagement – while there was a joined-up partnership policy with schools and other groups to stop children who’d been “dealt a bad hand” becoming criminals, or victims of crime themselves.