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Plea to parents as antisocial behaviour in Easter Ross town 'goes through the roof'


By Louise Glen

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Inspector James Rice: 'We will take appropriate action where incidents are reported and any offences identified'.
Inspector James Rice: 'We will take appropriate action where incidents are reported and any offences identified'.

ANTISOCIAL behaviour in Alness is "through the roof" and parents are being asked to play their part tackling the problem.

The issue has been raised by well-respected youth group The Place which has provided after-school clubs for more than three decades in the town.

The group, which recently opened up outdoor clubs after playing a key role during the lockdown period, calls on parents to be aware of where their children are and what they are doing.

A statement shared on its social media channels read: "If your child is out tonight, do you really know where and who with?

"Are you aware that antisocial behaviour in Alness is through the roof?

"Are you aware that people, many of the vulnerable have been victims of crime in our community as a result of groups of youngsters?

It claimed: "The same names of young people are cropping up time and time again so why is this being allowed to happen. Why are they being allowed out?

"There are youngsters out and about on the High Street, some under the influence of alcohol, are they yours?"

Against a backdrop of concerns that a very small minority of young people have been keying cars, smashing windows and terrorising older people, it said: "So, let’s put it in perspective. It is not the job of the police, youth workers or teachers to monitor behaviour but parents.

"Please ask your child some difficult questions because the last thing anyone wants is a community filled with fear and young people on the periphery of offending and entering the police system.

"Things are getting out of hand and our concerns are for our community."

The Place has offered support to parents worried about their children. It said: "We’d be more than happy to support you in challenging their energy positively."

It said: "There are many youngsters down at The Field behaving responsibly and having a brilliant time."

The Place youth work co-ordinator Janette Douglas said: "In Alness our young people are amazing, and during Covid our kids have been stuck in, but like many towns there are a small number of young people who are frustrated and displaying antisocial behaviour.

"We will continue to work with agencies, such as the police, to help anyone onto the right course."

"I would also urge parents and guardians to make sure that they know where their children are, who they are associating with and what they are doing." - Inspector James Rice

Inspector James Rice, community inspector for Easter Ross and Sutherland, said: "We know that antisocial behaviour has a disruptive effect on local communities and act on any information we receive.

"We are in regular contact with various partners in the community and are committed to working together to reduce and deter anti-social behaviour in Alness.

"It is worth stressing that the vast majority of young people do not come to the attention of police and should not be tarred by the actions of others.

"A small minority do sometimes become involved in antisocial behaviour and we will take appropriate action where incidents are reported and any offences identified.

"I would also urge parents and guardians to make sure that they know where their children are, who they are associating with and what they are doing."

Anyone who has concerns about anti-social behaviour in their area can contact police by calling 101 as promptly as possible or by contacting Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online.

Related: Field offers coronavirus solution to youth group

The Place steps up to coronavirus challenge with sessions for children



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