Police pledge action against youths’ anti-social behaviour

20140929- Anti Social Behaviour around Forfar Leisure Centre and Caravan Park. 'Caravan Park wardens Trevor and Pat Davies pictured discussing the problems with Police Community Sergeant Stephen Barr and Community Liaison Officer Scott Anderson.  ''Copyright Andy Thompson Photography / ATIMAGES'No use without payment.

20140929- Anti Social Behaviour around Forfar Leisure Centre and Caravan Park. 'Caravan Park wardens Trevor and Pat Davies pictured discussing the problems with Police Community Sergeant Stephen Barr and Community Liaison Officer Scott Anderson. ''Copyright Andy Thompson Photography / ATIMAGES'No use without payment.

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A senior Police officer in Forfar has pledged to bring in extra resources if necessary to break up a 50 strong group of youths which meets in the vicinity of the Lochside Leisure Centre.

Inspector Hamish Gray, Safer Communities Inspector, has spoken out after one youth was charged with a breach of the peace on Sunday evening following an incident at the Lochside Caravan Park.

In another incident on Friday evening a small group of youths was found to be in possession of a quantity of alcohol which was seized by police.

Over the last few weeks the group of youngsters, aged from around 12 upwards, has grown in size and at times can total between 50 and 60.

Their presence and the actions of a small minority have resulted in complaints from members of the public, and the wardens at the Lochside Caravan Park run by the Caravan Club.

Now the police are calling time on the group with Inspector Gray pledging to call in more resources over the weekend from areas in Angus to break up the group.

He admitted the summer had been an exceptionally busy time for Police Scotland officers with the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup but he would now put in place action to “nip this in the bud”.

He said: “We will keep on top of this and I want to break up this group.”

Trevor and Pat Davies, wardens at the Lochside Caravan Park, have a catalogue of antisocial incidents which have escalated over recent weeks.

Reports of bricks being thrown at caravans, crowds of youths “like something out of Vietnam” climbing over fences and thousand of pounds worth of damage to cars and caravans have all been logged.

Trevor said: “We did have some bother last year with local youths but nothing like this, The police have been fantastic but I do wonder if the parents know what their children have been up to.”

He explained matters came to a head after one caravanner, who flies the Irish, Scottish, British and English flags, hoisted an English flag to welcome visitors to the site.

He continued: “That is when the kids swapped from being alright and just noisy to being really aggressive. They seem to be really anti-British for some reason. The referendum really stirred up the kids.

“Everybody loves this caravan park but we have had 10 caravanners who were here last year who have not returned this year because of the trouble. We have had to take out pitches down beside the play park in case caravans and cars get damaged.”

Community liaison officer Constable Scott Anderson, who visited the area on Monday along with community wardens, urged parents to find out where their children are and what they have been up to.

He referred to parents who are dropping off and collecting their children at the Friday Night Project at the leisure centre, run by the Forfar and Area Partnership.

He said: “We are finding parents are dropping their children off but as soon as they drive away the youngsters don’t go to the project and gather together.

“They have been carrying out antisocial behaviour with members of the public feeling intimidated by their behaviour and their presence.

“It is only a small minority but we are concerned with the dark and the colder nights coming in.

“A small quantity of alcohol was seized from a group on Friday evening. We are concerned for the safety of these youngsters. They might have too much to drink and one may become separated from the group.

“We urge parents to find out where their children have been, what they have been doing and if they smell alcohol we would urged them to ask them where they got it from.”