Fife town tackles rise in anti-social behaviour during lockdown

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A rise in anti-social behaviour during lockdown saw scores of Fife Council tenants in central Fife reported for breaches of their tenancy agreements, according to new figures.

While most of the complaints in the Cowdenbeath area in the first half of this year were deemed “low level”, 14 incidents fell into the “extreme” behaviour category which led to court action being pursued.

A report to the Cowdenbeath area committee revealed that the cases involved physical violence, threats of violence, hate incidents, drug charges or cultivation, and aggressive behaviour causing neighbours to fear for their safety.

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A total of 45 cases involved “serious” anti-social behaviour, such as verbal abuse, drug dealing and frequent or ongoing serious disturbances i.e. loud music, parties, shouting and swearing, while a further 62 cases were classed as “nuisance” behaviour, including occasional noise, family disputes, household noise, children’s behaviour and the smell of drugs.

Fife House, HQ of Fife CouncilFife House, HQ of Fife Council
Fife House, HQ of Fife Council
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Lead officer Craig Brown said the apparent rise in incidents mirrored the trend across Scotland due to COVID-19 restrictions.

And as most involved environmental issues, most were therefore “quickly resolved”.

However, some were far more serious.

“Throughout the pandemic we did notice an increase in anti-social behaviour across the country, not just Fife,” he said.

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“But it was an issue so in FIfe we’re trying to do what we can to get back on top of anti-social behaviour.

“We work very closely with colleagues in Safer Communities and we meet regularly with the police to discuss cases where we can take them forward.”

Mr Brown added that the Safer Communities team has now increased its resources following a recruitment drive, and new dedicated officers will respond to and case manage all anti-social behaviour complaints from January 2022.

“This dedicated resource will improve the customers experience when reporting anti-social behaviour where they will have a single point of contact,” he continued.

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According to the statistics, a total of 121 breaches of tenancy were recorded in the Cowdenbeath area in the first half of 2021/22, although no evictions took place.

Estate management complaints - dealing with unruly gardens or littered stairwells - numbered 163 over the same period.

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