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‘A living hell’: Wheelie bins set on fire during years of anti-social behaviour in Methil

Ken Caldwell, left, and John O'Brien survey the ashes left after another wheelie bin fire.
Ken Caldwell, left, and John O'Brien survey the ashes left after another wheelie bin fire.

A gang of anti-social teenagers is making life “a living hell” for residents in a Methil street.

Youths gathering at the dam every weekend regularly steal wheelie bins from nearby Steelworks Brae and set them on fire.

And they also throw stones at houses, while bikers tear along footpaths next to the River Leven.

Mr Caldwell, left, and Mr O'Brien want to see and end to anti-social behaviour in Methil.
The councillors are concerned about anti-social behaviour in Methil.

People who live there are reluctant to speak out publicly for fear of the repercussions.

Residents have been verbally, and even physically, abused for airing concerns in the past.

However, two councillors have stepped forward to highlight the issue on their behalf, amid fears the nuisance is now becoming a danger.

Residents are fed up with getting their wheelie bins stolen and set alight.”

Councillor John O’Brien.

SNP members Ken Caldwell and John O’Brien say the disruption has been going on for several years.

And Mr O’Brien said: “The police and fire service are called out every other week to attend to anti-social activity.

“Residents are fed up with getting their wheelie bins stolen and set alight and they’re calling for support.

“Their lives have become a living hell.”

Increased police patrols to address anti-social behaviour in Methil

Mr Caldwell added: “This is a nuisance to the residents but it’s also a danger to the wildlife there – and to the many dogs who are walked in the area.

“There are a number of ways to address the issues and we’re working with the police, the fire service and the council’s safer communities officers to tackle this problem.”

Police are aware of anti-social behaviour in Methil and have increased patrols in the Steelworks Brae area.

And these will continue, along with the use of a mobile CCTV van in a bid to catch those responsible.

Levenmouth Inspector Paul Gillespie encouraged residents to report any incidents of anti-social behaviour via the Police Scotland website or by phoning 111.

Meanwhile, a new focused clampdown will launch later this year.

Mr Gillespie said it would be similar to the highly successful Improving Levenmouth Together initiative, which ran for three years.

Launched in 2018, it involved the police, the fire service, various council departments and voluntary organisations.

Mr Gillespie said: “The project led to a 70% reduction in calls to police with regards to anti-social behaviour between 2018 and 2021, and a 90% reduction in calls regarding off-road motorcycles.”

Engaging with young people

Community police are also trying to engage with young people to help them understand the impact of their behaviour.

And they point them in the direction of a range of activities set up to keep them occupied.

Between 50 and 100 youngsters are already involved in five-a-side football at Levenmouth Academy every Friday night.

This is run by the Coalfield Regeneration Trust’s Game On Scotland project.

And Kingdom Off-Road Motorcycle Club also provides a safe area for biking.

Mr Gillespie added: “Officers are committed to diversion and intervention projects.

“These will assist in providing young people with education and opportunities to thrive.”

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