Police in Fife use football to tackle issue of loitering youths

The police are hoping this new tactic will reduce anti-social behaviour. Stock pic: John Devlin
The police are hoping this new tactic will reduce anti-social behaviour. Stock pic: John Devlin

Community police officers in the Howe of Fife and Cupar have come up with an ingenious way of tackling the problems caused by groups of youngsters hanging about the streets.

They’ve been using a portable street soccer pitch to divert youths aged nine to 16 away from anti-social behaviour.

And the first event, held in Newburgh, has proved to be a big success.

The initiative is being run in partnership with Fife Council detached youth workers, the Clued-Up project; the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and local Councillor Andy Heer.

PC Stuart Bruce, who co-ordinated the Newburgh event, said: “This is the first of many similar events being held across the Howe of Fife and Tay Coast villages and following the success here over the last four weeks it will be moving to Cupar for four weeks at the beginning of June.

“It will then move to Kingskettle on July 6.”

“Giving youths in our communities activity allows the police and our partners an opportunity to divert them from hanging around the streets.

“This initiative is very much in its infancy - however, we want to build on its momentum.”

Meanwhile, officers in north east Fife have undergone training in Bikeability, which will enable them to go in to schools and teach accredited Level 1 and Level 2 cycling courses to children at primary schools across the area.

Bikeability is a course run by Cycling Scotland. PC Graeme Whittaker, who arranged the training, said “From our engagement with schools in our area, I identified that there was a dearth of people with the qualification to teach children to use their bikes safely. We now have eight staff trained across north east Fife and are already delivering the programme in our schools”.