Schoolchildren have been accused of wreaking havoc on Dunfermline town centre as £700-worth of damage was caused to a Santa’s grotto and shopping staff were allegedly racially abused.
Police have confirmed they are probing the alleged anti-social behaviour, which eyewitnesses say has been plaguing the town for weeks.
A new grotto known as Santa’s Web created in the upper mall of Kingsgate shopping centre was allegedly targeted by teenagers ‘on scooters’.
It is understood the damage cost hundreds of pounds to fix ahead of the grotto’s launch on Thursday.
And it’s feared the anti-social behaviour could ruin the festive experience for locals and visitors to the centre.
An eyewitness, who asked to remain anonymous, said the grotto, which is raising money for the local Marie Curie branch, was first targeted while it was under construction several weeks ago.
On Sunday, the behaviour reportedly escalated when shopping centre workers allegedly had racial slurs thrown at them by a second group of children.
Deodorant is also alleged to have been sprayed in the face of a grotto worker who asked the gang to leave the centre.
The eyewitness said: “This has been going on for weeks as children who are bunking off school come into the shopping centre for somewhere to go.
“They’re running riot through the Kingsgate and the High Street.
“Then on Saturday we witnessed a local café owner being subjected to so much abuse and racial hate.
“The language coming from the children’s mouths was absolutely shocking.
“It’s not right and something has to be done. The kids know you can’t go near them. They know they can get away with it.
“Workers and customers alike have had enough.”
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We received a report of anti-social behaviour and racial abuse by a gang of youths, around 7.35pm on Sunday November 21 at Kingsgate Shopping Centre, Dunfermline.
“Enquiries are ongoing and officers are following a positive line of enquiry.
“We are aware of the disruptive effect anti-social behaviour has on the local community and we are committed to encouraging people away from this kind of behaviour but will take action where incidents are reported to us.
“Anyone with concerns about anti-social behaviour is asked to contact police by calling 101.”
The Kingsgate centre manager Neil Mackie was unavailable when contacted today (Wednesday November 24).