A concerted crackdown on anti-social behaviour in Levenmouth has paid huge dividends, according to emergency services.
Partners involved in the Improving Levenmouth Together project say the turnaround in instances of anti-social behaviour and deliberate fire-setting over the past seven months has been “exceptional” after the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Police Scotland, Fife Council and other community groups joined forces.
The project was launched on April 1 after Levenmouth saw a rise in fire-setting and other forms of anti-social behaviour during 2018, with more than 250 deliberate fires set in the area between April 2018 and January 2019.
Many of the incidents related to secondary fires involving items like rubbish bins.
Since April, new figures have confirmed there has been a 60% reduction in calls relating the anti-social use of motorbikes and a 61% fall in reports of deliberate fire-setting.
A total of 222 people have been charged in connection with anti-social behaviour and road traffic offences, 15 people were charged with fire-setting, and 60 vehicles – including motorbikes, cars and quadbikes – were seized over the period.
A further three tenants were given anti-social behaviour warnings regarding motorbike use.
Inspector John Docherty, from Levenmouth Police Station, said: “We know that tackling anti-social behaviour is a key priority for our local communities.
“During the project all agencies have worked together to ensure its success.
“Without this partnership work and dedication of key agencies it is unlikely the level of success would have been achieved.”
His comments have been echoed by fire station commander Steven Michie
“We had a significant challenge here around deliberate fire-setting and anti-social behaviour.
“While other areas were recording a decrease in fire-setting and antisocial behaviour, Levenmouth was experiencing a rise.
“It’s always a tiny fraction of any community who commit such acts, but as a national service we’re committed to keeping all of our communities and staff safe.
“In Levenmouth, we realised engagement and enforcement had to go hand-in-hand.
“So, while we always work closely with partners, the decision was taken to share intelligence and best practice with a wide variety of groups in an effort to tackle these issues.”
The joint approach saw emergency services and key partners share intelligence and resources to engage with communities and target those responsible for starting fires and engaging in anti-social behaviour.
“It’s obviously pleasing to note there has been a sharp decline in fire-setting and anti-social behaviour, but we’ll never be complacent,” Mr Michie said.
“We’ll continue to be there for our communities when they need us and to work with everyone to try and prevent unwanted behaviour.
“A big thank you to all of our partners, but also to the local community and young people in the area, who have worked closely with us in an extremely positive fashion.
“By working together we can all make communities safer and limit anti-social behaviour.”