Concern over public drinking

MEMBERS of Forfar Community Council are seeking clarification on the areas to be included in the town’s alcohol free zone, writes Janet Thomson.

At their meeting last Thursday evening, chairman Mrs Isobel Ross said she had been disappointed to see empty beer cans lying on the new park benches in the redeveloped Greens play park.

She has also had reports of youths using the old railway line at St Margaret’s Park, the market garden at Beech Hill Court, the grounds of the Whitehills Health and Community Care Centre and the playpark at the Lochside Leisure Centre, as drinking dens.

She said: “I don’t think it is appropriate that people are drinking in a children’s play park. It is a health hazard for them and is not acceptable behaviour in public areas.”

She expressed fears that, if the alcohol free zone is solely for the town centre, it would squeeze the drinkers out to other areas which would be difficult to police.

The meeting also heard reports of people outside the Access office in the town centre, drinking.

Commenting on youths causing annoyance in the town, Community Liaison Officer Constable Ally Smith asked members of the public to use some judgement before calling the police.

He said: “Traditionally April and May tend to be problematic in relation to youths causing annoyance.

“It is thought that this is as a result of school holidays, improved weather conditions and increasing hours of daylight.

“Please consider very carefully when reporting youths causing annoyance - are they really doing anything other than playing?

“These calls place a huge strain on police resources, and often no anti-social behaviour is evident.

“However, if youths are acting in an anti-social manner, please contact Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222.