Angus communities have been promised a multi-pronged defence against the district’s highest-ever tide of anti-social behaviour.
The latest incident of Nazi graffiti carved into the ancient walls of Brechin cathedral has triggered a call for renewed resistance against a so-called young team whose vandalism spree over the past year has brought condemnation and anger from the local community.
In the wake of data revealing Angus anti-social behaviour complaints are at their greatest ever level, area police commander Chief Inspector David McIntosh said moves are under way to bring agencies together to face the issue head-on.
Angus MP Kirstene Hair sought answers from the senior officer about what is being done to control the “brainless” vandals responsible for incidents including last month’s swastika damage to the 800-year-old cathedral.
Last year, the town’s only public sculpture – the St Ninian’s Square statue of Sir Robert Watson-Watt – was daubed in a series of tagging attacks with the initials BYT.
Conservative MP Ms Hair said: “The group of youths that appear to call themselves the Brechin Young Team have been engaged in criminal activity which appears to vary from anti-social behaviour to vandalism.
“I am aware that a considerable programme of work has been undertaken to tackle this issue. However, from recent discussions with constituents, it is apparent that this problem is still ongoing.
“I know the current commander has taken this issue seriously but my constituents are asking for peace of mind. This wave of brainless vandalism by a small minority has been going on for a year now.
“We need to see solid action so Brechiners feel confident that this type of behaviour is under control.”
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Chief Inspector McIntosh will be in touch with the MP to discuss this further and, as she suggests, there is a programme of work ongoing .
“Although crime is less in Brechin compared to other areas of Angus, it is recognised that this is an important issue for the community in Brechin and work to address it is being led by Inspector Jamie Allen and Community Sergeant Clark Renilson.
“The most significant issue for the area recently was a series of acquistive crimes in Brechin and Montrose, a number of individuals have already been arrested and remanded to prison.
“Brechin and Montrose continue to benefit from local and divisional assets dedicated to the area for this purpose.
“At a Angus-wide level, complaints of anti-social behaviour are the highest they every been and Ch Insp McIntosh will be contacting partners to see what multi-agency support and assistance can be provided to support all of the communities in Angus, including Brechin.”