East of Edinburgh worst for antisocial behaviour

A dedicated unit was set up to tackle offences including vandalism, noise and racist aggression. Picture: Ian Georgeson
A dedicated unit was set up to tackle offences including vandalism, noise and racist aggression. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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NEIGHBOURHOODS in the east of the Capital have emerged as antisocial behaviour hotspots in a new “map” of the city’s most trouble-hit areas.

More than a quarter of the 81 cases probed by a unit created to tackle the most intractable offences ­originated in deprived districts such as Niddrie and Craigmillar, according to the latest breakdown.

There have been 23 incidents reported in the east neighbour­hood area that have been investigated by specialist staff, with the south-west and south not far behind on 19 and 14 ­incidents respectively.

Offences include vandalism, racist aggression and abuse, and general noise, with more than half of incidents involving drug or alcohol misuse.

Noise has also emerged as the type of offence most commonly reviewed in Edinburgh, with unit staff handling incidents recorded in all six ­neighbourhood areas.

The data comes as city chiefs press ahead with wide-ranging measures aimed at ­reducing the time needed to resolve cases, complete legal action and reduce the overall number of repeat offenders.

Stressing that updated figures did not cover every reported offence, they said they were working tirelessly with the police and community groups to crack down on antisocial behaviour.

Local political leaders have warned persistent offenders they risk forfeiting tenancy rights.

Kenny MacAskill, Edinburgh Eastern MSP and Scotland’s justice secretary, said: “I ­welcome the action taken by the council – in the main, this is a good area to stay and that’s how we want it to remain.

“Those who abuse their tenancy and harm the ­quality of life for their neighbours should be dealt with firmly and appropriately.

“There will be particular local issues and I welcome the action that the police and antisocial behaviour unit are taking. A tenancy is not a right alone. It carries ­responsibilities and those responsibilities include maintaining the rights of others who live next to or adjacent to you.”

Community safety leaders said the work being carried out by their unit – established in June last year – was ­making a big difference to efforts aimed at speedy and effective ­resolution of the most serious antisocial behaviour.

And they insisted that the Capital, on the whole, was a “safe and welcoming place”.

Councillor Cammy Day, community safety leader, said: “Reviewing incidents in the way described in the report has led to very positive results when it comes to resolving individual incidents, and also shows how effective working in partnership with agencies such as the police and community groups can be.

“Our work to tackle anti­social behaviour sends the message to those involved that we will take tough action against them.

“Communities can also take confidence that their concerns are being listened to and being taken seriously.”

Trouble Spots

East: 23 cases: noise, harassment, vandalism, drugs and intimidating behaviour, racial issues

South west: 19 cases: noise, harassment, threatening behaviour, dirty houses

South: 14 cases: noise, threatening behaviour, some drug issues

West: 9 cases: noise, occasional threatening behaviour

City Centre: 9 cases: noise

North: 7 cases: noise, harassment, vandalism, drugs, intimidating behaviour, racial issues