Residents claim: ‘We’re living in fear’

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Anti-social behaviour in a small village is out of control as residents claim they are too scared to let their children out to play.

A woman, who would not give her name for fear of reprisals against her family, contacted The Falkirk Herald this week to say the problems in the Ure Crescent area of Bonnybridge with youngsters and neighbours smashing windows and attacking people had become unbearable over the last two years.

She said: “We are all living in fear here. We’re even scared to let our children out to go and play in the park or even in the street outside it’s so bad. There are youths going around with baseball bats here.

“The more they get away with it, the more they do it.”

The woman’s claims came hours after a motion specifically dealing with anti-social behaviour was put forward by Councillor Billy Buchanan at a meeting of Falkirk Council’s executive committee on Tuesday.

Councillor Buchanan said: “All councillors will be aware of the problem created by anti-social behaviour in our communities. Over the years the situation has become worse due to, I believe, the lack of any direct action to deal with it.

“These individuals make their neighbours’ lives a misery and the elderly are the most vulnerable. I don’t know how many people over the years who have contacted me because they simply cannot take any more of this anti-social behaviour and have given up their homes to live in peace and quiet.”

Councillor Buchanan’s motion was calling on the Scottish Government to toughen up legislation on anti-social behaviour, which he said was “inadequate”.

The executive committee instead voted to reaffirm the council’s zero tolerance stance against anti-social behaviour and forward the issue to their scrutiny committee to see if the council could come up with more robust measures when dealing with anti-social behaviour.

Chief Inspector Damian Armstrong, Falkirk area commander, said: “Anti-social behaviour can blight communities and we are committed to tackling it across the Forth Valley area. With regards to the Bonnybridge area, officers are working closely with residents and are dealing robustly with crimes and other incidents as they occur.

“We also work together with our other partners to assist them in addressing the broader causes of anti-social behaviour and remain committed to supporting them and the wider community.

“It is crucial for us to be able to build up a picture of issues in any given area, and so we would encourage anyone with concerns to report anti-social behaviour while it is happening so we can gather and share information to solve the problem.”