“It’s like a cancer and it’s spreading, it’s getting worse.”
That’s the view of beleaguered residents in a Kirkcaldy community after months of escalating youth disorder, anti-social behaviour and vandalism.
Many locals attended a public meeting last night to call on the police, schools and Fife Council to do whatever necessary to curb the problem, that they said is making them prisoners in their own homes.
Gangs of up to 100 youths are gathering in and around the Birnam Road area of Templehall making lives a misery, and it’s being allowed to get worse, say those faced with the nightly problems
One resident who said she had lived in the area all her life claimed the problem was getting out of control and the worse she had ever experienced in the area, especially at the weekends.
Another said that the authorities needed to “come down hard on them” and act now before someone is killed.
One angry parent said their young child had been offered drugs by one of the youths.
“My child was offered ‘sherbet’, we all know what that refers to, drugs are rife among the groups, someone has to put a stop to this,”he said.
Councillor Neil Crooks, one of those who organised the meeting, following a sharp rise in complaints, told residents: “This isn’t something that will be sorted out in days or weeks, this is going to take months.”
“This is not an area that is going to sit back and let an unruly mob ruin their community.
“But we need the community to help if we are going to get to the core of the problem.”
With drinking and drug taking rife among the groups claim residents, calls we made for the schools to do more to tackle the problem.
“We have received intelligence that suggests drink and drugs are being taken and we have a list of 20-30 names which we are currently looking into, “ said Derek Allan, rector at Kirkcaldy High School.
But he added that many of the youths were coming in from outside of the Kirkcaldy area, with some travelling from as far away as Glenrothes.
He also revealed that many were telling parents they were having sleepovers at friends but instead were heading to Templehall, often staying out all night.
Community Sergeant Jimmy Adamson, acknowledged the frustration of many residents who had called 101 only to receive little or no response from police, but insisted that more would be done to tackle the growing problem of unruly gangs congregating in the area.
“We have stepped up patrols in the area and will continue to target gangs where we can.”
He added that the mobile CCTV van would continue to be mobilised in the area at peak times to help identify the ringleaders.