Repeat appeal to parents as young people weed out troublemakers

Lochside Leisure centre is still receiving police attention.
Lochside Leisure centre is still receiving police attention.

Young people in Forfar are starting to police themselves to weed out troublemakers, Forfar community councillors have been told.

Problems relating to large groups of youngsters gathering mainly around the leisure centre at evenings and weekends was discussed at the organisation’s last meeting.

Constable Scott Anderson, community liaison officer, said that although plain clothes officers and unmarked vehicles have been deployed in the area, the teenagers themselves have been taking action.

He also defended the police’s response to the issue.

He said: “We’ve had plain clothes officers down there speaking to them and six sets of parents have been written to about their children’s behaviour. We’re trying to be get through to parents to question where their kids are because when spoken to parents have said they didn’t know.

“Of course they have a right to congregate and meet with their friends, but we have to draw a line and that line is being crossed in terms of acceptable behaviour - people walking around the loch shouldn’t feel intimidated by people shouting abuse and throwing stones.

“They’re old enough to know right from wrong and are responsible for their own behaviour, but what we’re finding is that the good kids are getting fed up and and telling them to move on. There are some really good kids down there but what’s bringing it to a head is the behaviour of a minority.”

Councillor Glennis Middleton echoed an appeal to parents in last week’s Dispatch by a Forfar man whose son had collapsed after taking what was believed to be an illegal substance during an evening out.

She also said she disagreed with the view that there is little in Forfar for young people to do.

She said: “We live in an age when it’s only too easy to fall into trouble and the consequences can be tragic.

“At the last count there are over 100 groups for young people and that information is freely avaliable through the school but they reach an age when they don’t want to do something organised and just want to hang out with friends.”