Police in Fife have hailed the result of a crackdown in Levenmouth which they say has led to a notable reduction in anti-social behaviour.
The force has seen a 90% reduction in calls about anti-social motorbike use since the project started in 2019 in response to a sharp increase in reports of bad behaviour.
After recognising the impact anti-social behaviour was having on the community, Police Scotland said the force and elected members from the Fife Council local area committee worked with partners to initiate a “wraparound” approach to tackling the issue.
It was agreed two police officers would be dedicated to policing anti-social behaviour between 1 April and 31 October each year.
New results for 2021 show Improving Levenmouth Together has led to calls about off-road motorbikes falling from 891 in 2018 to 85 during the same period in 2021.
The project had already achieved results in its first year, with a 60% reduction in calls about bad behaviour.
Since its introduction, the project has evolved to include more focus on working with young people in the area to prevent them from being involved in crime.
Focus of Levenmouth project moves to prevention
Officers are also working with Levenmouth Academy and third sector organisations to provide young people with opportunities to reach positive destinations, by gaining qualifications and life skills.
Paul Gillespie, Levenmouth community inspector, thanked Fife Council’s local area committee and the force’s partners for support the project.
“My aim is to ensure Police Scotland officers are at the heart of the Levenmouth community and it is recognised our local officers are committed to improving the lives and wellbeing of young people across the area.
Opportunities set to grow, senior Fife police officer says
“Levenmouth is an exciting place to live, work and visit currently. The introduction of new industry and the railway line in the coming years will see opportunities grow for young people.
“It is important we work with our partnership network to enable young people to thrive.”
Inspector Gillespie also praised Sergeant Craig Fyall and his team of community officers who he said “work tirelessly to ensure people in Levenmouth can enjoy a safe living environment”.
Police hail ‘incredible success’ of Levenmouth anti-social behaviour crackdown
He added: “The Improving Levenmouth Together project has been an incredible success and we are looking to build a legacy in the community over a sustained period.”
Councillor Ken Caldwell, convener of the Levenmouth area committee said he was glad to see the project move on from an enforcement approach.
He said the idea of funding police officers directly was “very innovative”, but that the crime results show it has worked.
‘Innovative approach has worked’
“Levenmouth has a reputation for collaborative working and this has been key to the development and success of the project.
“I am very pleased that we are moving from an enforcement option towards an intervention and diversion strategy. This was always the plan but it was difficult to implement due to Covid restrictions.
“I would like to thank Inspector Gillespie and Sergeant Fyall and their team for doing such a tremendous job working with our communities and to all the partners involved for their excellent contributions,” Mr Caldwell said.