Calls for a zero tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour and littering on St Andrews’ Castle Sands have been stepped up after late night revellers again left rubbish strewn across the beach.
Debris left behind by unidentified culprits at the picturesque spot has long been a bugbear for locals and visitors alike.
In the past signs have been erected warning students partaking in beach parties and not clearing up after themselves that they might face disciplinary action.
But the latest sight of alcohol cans, plastic bottles and other items abandoned on the Castle Sands on Sunday morning has proved to the be the last straw for many who believe firm action must now be taken to stop the practice once and for all.
St Andrews Labour councillor Brian Thomson said he has reported the latest incidence to the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust (FCCT), and expressed his frustration it is becoming an increasingly frequent occurrence.
“I know that FCCT staff and volunteers are having to regularly remove cans, food waste, bottles, broken glass, plastic bags, burned out pallets – often with sharp nails – and various other debris that’s taken down to the Castle Sands,” he said.
“The mess left at the weekend coincided with the start of the University’s Freshers’ Week, and I’m sure that the university will be advising students to act responsibly, but it’s not just students who are leaving a mess at the beach.
“Littering is an offence, and those who commit it can be the subject to a fine, but monitoring the area is problematic, particularly as all public sector organisations, including the police, are so financially stretched due to cuts.
“I will, however, seek advice from FCCT, the police and Fife Council officers on any suggestions as to how this anti-social behaviour can be clamped down on.”
One local dog walker, who did not want to be named, said the party-goers had taken plastic buckets down to the beauty spot which had been shattered into pieces but not cleaned up.
While there is no evidence as to who has been leaving the mess behind, a spokesman for St Andrews University stressed that every student who arrives at the university signs a code of conduct which they are expected to abide by.
“The core principles at its heart include respect, integrity, and politeness,” the spokesman said.
“We aim to embed these values in all we do, across our wider community.
“That’s why last weekend the Students Association and University Estates staff were promoting information leaflets advising students of their responsibility to keep beaches clean, and our security staff were making proactive beach checks.
“And that’s why University staff and students are involved in weekly beach clean ups, with more than 480 kg of rubbish collected from St Andrews’ beaches in the past year.”