Councillor says ‘Send in the secret sheriffs’

Councillor Andrew Rodger
Councillor Andrew Rodger

COMMUNITIES are continuing to be blighted with anti-social behaviour problems because sheriffs are out of touch with reality.

That’s the claim from one Levenmouth councillor, who has repeated his plea for those with sentencing powers to spend time with residents who are suffering in misery.

Speaking at Wednesday’s meeting of Levenmouth area councillors at Buckhaven Community Centre, Councillor Andrew Rodger suggested sheriffs should be encouraged to become part of a community in the same way that the ‘secret millionaire’ does during the reality TV show.

This, he says, is the only way they could get a real grip on the issues which blight our area.

Cllr Rodger added: “Anti-social behaviour is far too high.

“Sentencing has been pushed up to five years for anti-social behaviour and that’s the message we should be pushing; not just allowing people easily back into the community.

“Why should people who work hard day after day have to come home from their work at night and then go to sleep at a friend’s because of it?”

Levenmouth’s chief inspector, Graeme Kinmond, told the meeting he hoped local officers would soon be joining up with other relevant groups as part of a new project called ‘Escalate’.

Escalate, Chief Inspector Kinmond said, would see the various agencies meet and discuss problem premises.

Problems with anti-social behaviour were “getting better”, the chief inspector said and that, instead of people being removed from their homes, he’d prefer them to be able to stay and simply stop offending.

Cllr David Alexander added: “Sometimes with anti-social behaviour, our hands are tied.

“If we had concerns about somebody dealing drugs we would want them out, but we’re told that’s illegal.”

Cllr Alistair Hunter said there needed to be a better response than throwing people out on the streets, as all that did was move the problem elsewhere.

The area’s senior officer added that crime analysis showed only 18 per cent of offences in Levenmouth were committed by under-18s, with seven youngsters responsible for 51 per cent of these.

This, said the chief inspector, showed the vast majority of crime in Levenmouth was committed by adults – something which wasn’t always reflected in public perception.