The owners of a former college building in Dundee say the site is facing “unprecedented” levels of anti-social behaviour.
The former Dundee College campus on Constitution Road, which was bought by Scodd Ltd for £500,000 last January, has been a target for trespassers and vandals since it was closed in 2011.
Plans to convert it into student accommodation were approved by the council in November, but the work is not expected to begin until summer next year.
There are concerns that the problems will persist – and the developer is now calling for more to be done to punish those responsible.
It comes after the latest call-out to the building this week, when five youths were taken back to their parents following a fire at the site.
Building now ‘a target for local teenagers’
A spokesman for Scodd Ltd told The Courier: “We are experiencing an unprecedented amount of anti-social behaviour from what appears to be mainly teenagers, and it’s clearly very difficult to stop.
“Initially, we had a lot of problems with drug users within the building, and as we’ve managed to remove them, we seem to have opened it up as a target for local teenagers.”
The company claims it is having to repair parts of the fencing at the site daily as people are breaking in.
The spokesman said: “We have a security company that manages the site and responds directly to live CCTV cameras that trigger physical patrols by guards.
“But it seems that as soon as we fix a fence, hoarding or entry point – and we’re talking daily at the moment – the kids rip it off or find a new point to gain access again.
Our security team also has to deal with horrendous verbal abuse from these kids”
“Our security team also has to deal with horrendous verbal abuse from these kids, who ultimately run off whenever they see the guards, but they promise to return as soon as our security patrol leaves, telling us there’s nothing we can do to stop them.”
Residents claim that youths are at the site every night and have become so used to hearing sirens that they no longer pay any attention.
Calls for vandals to face harsher punishments
The company is now calling for harsher punishments to be dished out to those responsible.
The spokesman added: “In our view, unless there are some meaningful consequences for those that break and enter our property the problem seems likely to continue.
“Accordingly, we’re meeting with the local council and police directly during the first week of March, where we’re hoping to agree on some meaningful methods and deterrents to stop these people constantly breaking and entering our property, which is obviously very expensive for us and completely unfair on local residents.
“The sooner we can get the development started, the better, and to this point we hope to start construction during the summer of 2023.”
Inspector Keith Anderson from Police Scotland said: “We have been and continue to work collectively with the interested parties to resolve the ongoing issues within the complex.
“Local officers, assisted by several specialist resources including the dog unit, mobile CCTV unit and community officers regularly and routinely patrol the area and will continue to do so.”