Children as young as 11 blamed for growing attacks on shop staff in Kirkcaldy

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Children are being held responsible for an appalling rise in abuse and even physical attacks on shop staff across Kirkcaldy.

Aged as young as 11, their actions have been condemned by the town’s MSP as as “the worst anti social abuse” he has investigated in 30 years. He has called for a meeting with police to tackle the growing problem.

Incidents have been reported at Lidl’s Esplanade store, but it is understood to be just one of a number of retailers where staff have ben threatened, spat at, and even physically attacked. Concerns have been raised at Fife Retail Park as well as at least one supermarket. In recent weeks, several shops in the High Street have also had windows smashed.

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Lidl confirmed it had alerted police to problems at its store where it is understood one staff member was physically assaulted and others threatened.

Lidl, KirkcaldyLidl, Kirkcaldy
Lidl, Kirkcaldy

Some of the shocking incidents in local shops have been captured on video.

Mr Torrance said: “Having been a councillor for 20 years and an MSP for Kirkcaldy for the last 12 I thought nothing would shock me any more. The CCTV has left me both stunned and appalled by the level of abuse these youths have inflicted on staff. It’s the worst I’ve ever seen in my constituency and it involves a gang of around eight youths aged from 11 to 14 years old.”

The fact incidents have been reported across the town has raised concerns.

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A Lidl spokesman said the company took any abusive and violent behaviour towards staff extremely seriously, and it had several measures in place to protect both them and customers, including security guards and CCTV.

“We can confirm that police have been alerted to the anti-social behaviour, which we understand is being experienced by other retailers in the area too, and we continue to support them in their investigations,” a spokesman said.

Inspector Nicola Black, of Kirkcaldy police station, said: “This kind of behaviour is not acceptable. Those found responsible are dealt with appropriately. I would ask parents and guardians to make sure they know where their children are, who they are associating with and what they are doing.”

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