West Pilton: tackling the scourge of antisocial behaviour

Posted on 27/10/2014 by

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Brandin, a member of North Edinburgh Young People’s Forum, is concerned about the ongoing antisocial behavior in the area:

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A gang of local youths have committed many crimes in North Edinburgh recently: they are an extreme danger to the public and themselves. The groups has at least twenty members and is based in Pilton.

The crimes they commit are inexcusable and disruptive to the community: their crimes include breach of the peace, vandalism and theft. Recently an attack on an innocent Chinese man has created massive fear in the North Edinburgh community.

A local shop in West Pilton is a meeting point for the gang. The shop owner does not want to be held responsible for them being outside his shop as the gang threaten anything that attempts to stop what they are doing.

Local people are keen for the police to start doing something about the gang but they are sometimes hindered by the law – police are not allowed to give chase to the troublesome youths as they tear up local green spaces and the streets due to the risk to the health and wellbeing to the riders, so the gang is able to run free,  behaving like lunatics.

The police have caught many of the youths and many have dozens of charges on their criminal record. Many have been given ASBOs, but they just turn up again and never serve any jail time – which many locals think is appalling.

I spoke to an young lady who said that the group are a ‘joke’. She said the police are not doing enough as the group are extreme vandals who are are a big threat to the community. She added: “The young people have taken over the community and are committing needless crimes. The police have said that they don’t have the resources but it is not difficult to ask other police stations for the things they need. They have to do more – and fast – before things escalate.”

Local people are not happy with what the gang are doing and many feel the police are not doing enough to stop the gang. At a public meeting in West Pilton recently the public made their views clear to councillors and police representatives.

The community is now waiting for explanations – and hopes that something is done to tackle the problem in the near future.

Brandin, North Edinburgh Young Peoples Forum

Josh and Nikki of the NEYPF took these photographs in and around West Pilton Park last week:

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHowever local police insist problems in West Pilton are being addressed. In a statement on Facebook last Friday, Edinburgh Police Division said:

‘In North Edinburgh we are continuing to tackle antisocial behaviour and disorder in the area. Additional officers have been brought in from other parts of the East Command area to assist local officers particularly in the Forth Ward. In the last two weeks alone:

– 45 people have been arrested or reported for a variety of offences including possession of drugs, offensive weapons, antisocial behaviour, hate crime and housebreaking.

– 14 people have been arrested on warrants issued by the Court.

– 8 stolen vehicles have been recovered in the area and returned to their rightful owners.

– Over 120 persons have been stopped and searched with 12 being found in possession of suspected controlled drugs.

– Road checks have resulted in 4 uninsured vehicles being seized and taken off the street and the drivers reported.

Local Area Commander Chief Inspector Sara Buchanan added: “Police Scotland are committed to tackling these issues in conjunction with our partners in both the short and long term in order to keep people safe and support the local community”.

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