Parents have been asked to speak to their children following a spate of anti-social behaviour in north east Fife.
Drunk teenagers have been driven home by police, while assaults, intimidating behaviour and vandalism have also been reported.
COVID restrictions ease…a small minority think its ok to vandalise NEF property…We have all had a tough year…The last thing people or businesses need is to waste money repairing damage….To those responsible – would you want your stuff damaged? pic.twitter.com/Nh3G8jZXGC
— North East Fife Police (@NorthFifePol) April 20, 2021
The incidents have happened during large gatherings in Cupar, St Andrews and other communities on Friday and Saturday evenings.
And the disorder has increased over the past few weeks as lockdown restrictions ease and the weather improves.
The plea follows a similar warning in south west Fife last month.
Anti-social behaviour ‘puts a strain on police resources’
Police say dealing with anti-social behaviour is putting a strain on their resources at some of their busiest times.
And they warn: “We will deal with incidents robustly.”
Parents have now been asked to help discourage the behaviour, which police say has a wide-reaching impact on the public.
Members of the north east Fife community policing team have written to parents.
We all have a responsibility to know what those in our care are up to.”
North east Fife police.
In a letter sent via the local high schools. they say dealing with the behaviour is everyone’s responsibility.
“We have seen over the past weeks an increase in disorder, with large groups of youths congregating together and reported incidents such as littering, drunken and intimidating behaviour, assaults and, in particular, vandalism involving these gatherings,” they say.
“Police have also had to transport intoxicated youngsters home for their own safety and dealing with these incidents obviously puts a strain on police resources at some of our busiest times.”
They add: “We would ask parents and carers for your assistance in speaking to your children and young people.
“We all have a responsibility to know what those in our care are up to and where they are doing it.”
Behaviour is ‘due to Covid frustrations’
Cupar councillor Margaret Kennedy believes the anti-social behaviour is due to frustrations caused by the Covid situation.
“While I don’t believe it is acceptable or inevitable, many of the young people don’t have their normal day-to-day activities where they can release their energies and frustration,” she said.
“I don’t accept it but I recognise it’s a symptom of the world we’ve been living in for the last year.”
I’m concerned this will get worse before it gets better.”
Councillor Margaret Kennedy.
The Liberal Democrat councillor said there had always been a small but troublesome cohort in the area.
But she added: “There was only the odd occasion where some areas might have been problematic.”
Ms Kennedy now plans to contact community safety teams and council officers to help tackle the current issues.
“We need to get some kind of plan in place because I’m concerned this will get worse before it gets better,” she said.
“It’s a shame it’s happened but I’m pleased the police have made direct contact with parents.
Risks of fire-setting and littering
Ms Kennedy said the anti-social behaviour also brought other risks.
“It’s not just about the behaviour at the time but also about what happens after they’ve gone,” she said.
“It’s very dry just now and people have been lighting fires.
“There are real risks around fire-setting and these youngsters need to be aware of the impact on the environment and also on wildlife.
“There are massive implications that folk don’t think about.”
Fife Council is spending an extra £320,000 on tackling anti-social behaviour this year.
It wants to recruit more staff so it can respond more quickly to complaints.