Reclaiming Kirkcaldy’s streets from anti-social youths

Police and youth workers talk to youths on Friday night. Pics by George McLuskie
Police and youth workers talk to youths on Friday night. Pics by George McLuskie

Anxious residents in the Hayfield area of Kirkcaldy are being assured action is being taken to tackle groups of antisocial youths causing havoc on their streets.

Police and youth workers were out in force in the Wilson Avenue area, speaking to the youngsters and seeing the issues themselves after reports of underage drinking, loud and intimidating behaviour and bread crates being thrown around.

And police in Kirkcaldy say they will continue to put on extra patrols and work alongside other agencies to prevent a repeat of the situation in Templehall at the end of last year when youth disorder became a real problem and mounted police were called in.

Friday night’s action came after local residents contacted the Press to say they were at the end of their tether and feared for their safety and that of the teenagers who have been causing havoc for several weeks.

One woman said she had seen groups of over 30 youngsters drinking vodka and lying in the road.

“It’s getting really bad and last Friday night was horrendous. People are frightened to go outside and one man who did go out to speak to them was threatened with having his windows panned in.”

Another man said: “Someone is going to get hurt. They are lying drunk in the road and cars have to go around them.”

Acting sergeant John Weir of Police Scotland in Kirkcaldy, said: “We were out in the Wilson Avenue area over the weekend with detached youth workers from the Argos Centre and Community Wardens to see exactly what the issues were and what diversionary tactics we could do for the kids.

“While the police will do all that they can to stop this escalating, this is a social issue and it needs everyone to work together, and we will be continuing to work with the council, schools and voluntary organisations to do what we can.

“We would like to see parents getting on board and asking their children where they are going and what they are doing, to help us. How would they feel if it was happening on their doorsteps?

“As well as the nuisance to residents, there’s the personal safety aspect, particularly for young females getting intoxicated. We do not want anyone to put themselves in danger.

“We will also be doing licensee checks to ensure they know their responsibilities and we ask anyone approached by youths asking them to buy alcohol for them to say no.”

David Torrance, Kirkcaldy MSP, said: “Over the last couple of weeks, a number of constituents have made me aware of emerging anti-social behaviour issues involving young people loitering in Wilson Avenue and neighbouring streets.

“On Saturday evening, I visited the area and witnessed many anti-social behaviour incidents taking place first hand. This situation is extremely serious and must be addressed as quickly as possible, as I am fully aware of how upsetting and concerning these incidents must be for residents in the local community.

“My office has been in contact with Police Scotland and the Safer Communities Team to discuss the issue and to seek immediate action to tackle this.

“Many residents have said they feel uncomfortable and intimidated, which is unacceptable in a residential area.

“I have been given assurances by the police and community wardens that a greatly increased presence will be attending throughout this weekend.”