Action needed on “undesirables”

A growing feeling of unrest has been simmering in Forfar regarding the antics of some drug users in the town.

The Forfar Dispatch facebook page has become a forum for those concerned about the habits of some residents, with reports of drug dealing taking place in a children’s play-park.

Members of Forfar Community Council have also called for action against an “undesirable element” which meets at The Cross during the day.

A delegation of members of the public attended a recent meeting to voice their concerns about the amount of drug users sitting around the town centre and drinking alcohol on the streets.

They felt this gave a bad impression of Forfar for any tourists and also caused people to feel intimidated.

Members agreed a strategic meeting should be held with the relevant authorities in an attempt to address the problem.

More recently there have been reports of fighting in the street in the vicinity of The Cross during the day when the town centre was busy with shoppers, whilst community council chairman Mrs Isobel Ross reported that, in one day alone in May, she received eight complaints from members of the public about “certain elements” in the town.

On our popular facebook site, Cath Peebles highlighted an alarming incident which occurred at the recently upgraded playpark at the Greens – again in broad daylight - whilst children were making use of the new facilities.

After taking a friend’s son to the park she wrote: “Before you know it three junkies and their dog turn up in the park, stoned out of their faces, cursing and swearing in front of a park full of children.

“Then to top it off another four decided it was the ideal place to drink their Buckie’s and rant and swear! How disgusting and upset that I had to leave the park with my four-year-old rather than let him hear the filth coming from their mouths.”

She added: “The council, police and community wardens, which by all accounts are as rare a breed as snow gritters in the winter, need to address this problem.

“Why do we pay council tax to be hounded out of a play park by these people and their lewd behaviour?”

She added that, to “add insult to injury”, she saw a drug deal taking place the next day and asked: “What’s happening to this place?”

In response, Ruth Mason said it was time for zero tolerance on all our streets, from all authorities.

“This might give the general public the confidence to stand up to thugs, junkies and anti-social behaviour.”

She continued: “We as a community have seen so much respect eroded from our society – time to get it back.”

The perceived lack of action from the authorities also stirred up calls for the community liaison partnerships to take a “tough approach” rather than a “softly softly approach” - if not, warned Cath, “London will come here too.”

Lisa Clark posted: “I think most of Forfar is beyond fed up with all of this. The junkies don’t care and do as they please. Really fed up with it. It’s not right when you have to look about parks for needles before you can let your kids play in the park.”