Civerinos: Flare thrown as gangs of youths on Portobello prom force pizza shop to close
A Portobello pizza shop had to close its doors after extreme and ‘intimidating’ anti-social behaviour from large groups of teenagers on the promenade, including reports of bottles and even a flare being thrown.
Recently-opened Civerinos’ Prom Slice in Portobello said it faced faced “absolute carnage” on Sunday night after anti-social behaviour from large groups of youths appeared to reach boiling point.
On Sunday, incidents reported near the restaurant included a youth throwing a two-litre glass bottle towards a child sitting at the store’s deckchairs, and a flare being thrown towards the beach.
Staff at the restaurant say they feel threatened and “beyond intimidated” as they fear they may have to close early again.
Talking about the events on Sunday night, Amanda Cunningham, general manager of the store said: "It was absolutely crazy down here. It was horrible.
"A family was enjoying our deck chairs on the beach and an unidentified youth threw a two litre glass bottle near their baby.
"Then sometime between 4pm and 7pm, the youths were gathering, as they normally do, and facing off each other. The cops had been down since 3pm having a presence- there’s not much they can do but it does help that they are there.
"But then one of the youths fired a flare and there then followed a Mexican riot-type stand-off with the kids and the cops.
"The cops made a line across and then some youths who were hooded with masks and balaclavas were stepping up to them and filming the cops.
"That group was about twenty but there are so many up and down the proms and they just interact with one another in an antisocial fashion.”
Ms Cunningham went on to say that the anti-social behaviour has been happening throughout summer, particularly when it is sunny outside and during school holidays.
She added: “Last night was the worst I would say.
"Parents need to take responsibility for their children. These are kids travelling and they are drunk and all appear underage.
"It affects our business and it affects families on the beach- they come here to have a nice time at the beach and these selfish and disrespectful youths are making a nuisance of themselves and making it unpleasant for everybody.”
“My staff are so intimidated and makes the work place so unsafe- we might have to close early if they come back tonight.
With a staff of around 20, Ms Cunningham said she is very concerned about her staff and their well-being.
Police Scotland has put out extra patrols in Portobello to tackle the anti-social behaviour which occurred over the weekend.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "A 15-year-old male youth was charged in connection with throwing a flare in the Portobello beach area on the evening of Sunday 18 July.
"Nobody was injured during the incident."
Earlier, Inspector Dale Ketchen said: “Following a number of incidents of antisocial behaviour involving groups of youths in Portobello, officers will be carrying out focussed patrols in the area to disrupt those who are intent on causing trouble.
“Portobello Beach is very popular when the sun is out, but it’s unfortunate that the behaviour of a small minority ruin it for visitors as well as local businesses and residents.
“You’ll see more of us out and about and I ask that if you see any criminality in the area, help us hold offenders to account by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency.”