Communities in Angus are living through the “highest ever level of recorded anti-social behaviour”, police leaders have warned.
Angus area commander chief inspector David McIntosh told councillors sitting on the scrutiny and audit committee on Tuesday his officers faced 6,500 incidents over the past year.
He said the high number of cases had wasted police resources and reduced the amount of time officers could dedicate to tackling more serious crimes but insisted it is important not to turn a blind eye.
“Anti-social behaviour can turn into low level crime, which in turn can become something more serious,” he said.
He gave an example of an Angus landowner who reported youths on his property and then claimed the group had robbed him of his mobile phone.
“It is right that we don’t take our eye off the ball in this regard,” he added.
He summarised work the local force is undertaking to combat the problem, including the creation of an anti-social behaviour plan and a community officer dedicated to working with Arbroath schools.
“This collective work is positive and has been well received and helped stabilise a spike in youth-related disorder and anti-social behaviour in Arbroath,” he said.
Councillor Lynne Devine, SNP, said: “I know you [the police] are doing a lot of work with schools. It appears there has been a lot of climbing and misbehaviour on roofs.”
Chief inspector McIntosh’s report also warned violence in the county was worse than in neighbouring and similar local authority areas.
In his report, he said: “It is notable neighbourhood disputes have risen in every locality with the effects being felt most in Arbroath.”
He went on to warn the county continued to face a growing number of serious violent crimes.
He said: “The overall number of violent crimes reduced by 1.9 %, but within the overall reduction there have been some specific increases in certain violent crime types.
“The overall number of serious violent crimes shows an increase of 8.4 %, from 107 incidents previously to 116 incidents for this reporting period.
“The majority of violence occurring within Angus remains indoors and within private space. It is also in excess of comparable or neighbouring local authority areas.”
The recorded levels for many other common crimes, including domestic abuse, drugs, speeding and house breaking had all fallen.