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Police ramp up activity in Cardenden over fears lives at risk from anti-social behaviour

Police parked outside the former Auchterderran Education Centre.
Police parked outside the former Auchterderran Education Centre.

Police in Cardenden have increased patrols after a spate of anti-social behaviour.

The move follows a rise in vandalisms and fireraisings at derelict properties in the area.

Among the recent incidents was a fire started in a field near a farm on the outskirts of the town, leaving a farmer fearing for his livestock.

Concern is growing that someone could be seriously injured or killed when a blaze gets out of control, or when entry is gained to an unsafe building.

Derelict school targeted by vandals

One of the buildings being monitored is the former Auchterderran Education Centre on Woodend Road.

The C-listed former council building, built in 1904, was originally Auchterderran Junior High School.

However it was closed in the 1980s after the completion of the new Lochgelly High School.

Officers have been patrolling derelict buildings in the town.

Fife Council took over use of the building for a time but has been boarded up for several years and has become a magnet for vandals.

The site was earmarked for redevelopment but has remained vacant despite interest from a number of house builders.

Inspector Paul Cochrane from Police Scotland said: “We are aware of recent reports of anti-social behaviour in Cardenden.

Derelict buildings can be, and often are, very unsafe and pose a genuine danger

“I would like to take this opportunity to remind the public that derelict buildings can be, and often are, very unsafe and pose a genuine danger to anyone who ventures in

“We work closely with the local authority and we will continue to give these areas passing attention.”

Former pupil welcomes police action

Lea McLelland, a councillor for the area over the last five years, has welcomed the police activity.

She said: “Sadly there have been a number of incidents of petty vandalism and anti-social behaviour in recent weeks.

“I was a pupil at Auchterderran High School so it’s particularly sad to see the listed building that remains being made a target for vandals.

“People must realise that once they start a fire they are not in control of the situation or the eventual consequences.”

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