Leader: Motorbike yobs need more than a slap on the wrists

Youths in Pilton Park with a suspected stolen motorbike.
Youths in Pilton Park with a suspected stolen motorbike.
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It’s an all too familiar story.

The lives of an entire community, in this case Muirhouse, are blighted by a handful of out of control yobs and the police seem powerless to act.

It’s a neat summary but is by no means the whole story of what is happening in parts of north Edinburgh at the moment.

In actual fact, the police are taking action and with some success - arresting six people in the last week and recovering a number of stolen bikes. Since June, they have picked up 27 separate offenders and charged them with 129 offences.

The problem is what happens next.

Today we hear from a disabled man who had been forced to abandon his home because he has been terrorised by gangs of teens. They may eventually be picked up by the police but they also know, as does their victim, that they will soon be back on the streets causing chaos. Perhaps they may even pick up the ultimate badge of honour - an Asbo.

If we are ever going to get serious about tackling such anti-social behaviour, it has to involve stronger punishment than a slap on the wrists.

The city’s community safety leader Cammy Day tells us he is working on a petition calling on the Scottish Government and the justice system to take firm action. We wholeheartedly support it.

The idea of inviting the Justice Secretary and sheriffs to visit Muirhouse and see the problems at first hand is also a good one and sure to be an eye-opener.

There are many great things happening in north Edinburgh at the moment and there’s a fantastic community spirit.

We must not stand by and allow all the good work to be ruined by a minority of lawless yobs.

No-one should be put in the position where they feel they have no option but to abandon their home for their own safety. It’s time to get tough on the offenders and reclaim the streets for good.