Police are to focus on a group of teenagers who have been carrying out anti-social behaviour – including incidents of violence – in a Perth park.
It’s been revealed that officers will increase patrols in the South Inch Park following a group of youths, both male and female, aged between 12 to 16, gathering there almost on a nightly basis.
On Friday, Chief Inspector Ian Scott, the newly appointed area commander for Perth and Kinross, revealed there have been increasing instances of anti-social behaviour by the teenagers in the South Inch, and described how the police aim to tackle the problem.
“This has been going on over the past couple of months,” he said.
“It’s been moving away from just some anti-social behaviour into violence and risk-taking behaviour.”
He continued: “The younger generation are as lawful as we’ve ever had. We’ve seen a long-term reduction in both violent and inquisitive anti-social behaviour by that age group over the last 10 to 20 years.
“However, we do have a group of teenagers causing anti-social behaviour, including taking alcohol, at the South Inch and we need to make sure we have a proportionate response. The youngsters are out enjoying themselves but sometimes they get boisterous, so we are asking parents to find out where their children are going and who they are going to be with.
“There haven’t been any sexual offences yet but potentially that could happen and so we are concerned at that.”
Mr Scott revealed that the group have been asking residents to buy alcohol for them, including instances of getting beggars to buy a case of beer for them with the promise that they can have some.
“It’s quite difficult for the shops and off-licences to know where the alcohol is going once it’s bought,” he added.
“We will deploy local officers in the area and they will work with partnership agencies, including street wardens and our community investigation unit, to concentrate around the South Inch up to the period of the school holidays.
“This is to make sure we are aware who is there and to challenge inappropriate behaviour. I’m also considering writing warning letters to parents.
“It is a small minority that are causing the trouble.”
In an unrelated incident, vandals set fire to a 40-foot high ‘spider web’ climbing frame at the South Inch play park in October last year. The equipment was recently replaced at an estimated cost of £32,000.