Parents and carers urged to help prevent group youth disorder in East Lothian town

A chief inspector is calling on parents and carers to help him combat the rising issue of antisocial behaviour in East Lothian – primarily caused by large groups of youths.

By Katharine Hay
Thursday, 19th November 2020, 7:00 am

Dunbar has been subject to an increase in youth crime and disorderly behaviour where youngsters are gathering in large groups and drinking ‘a significant amount of alcohol.’

Chief Inspector Neil Mitchell is calling on parents and carers to assist him in combating the disruptive behaviour which has led to officers on duty being abused by groups of youngsters under the influence.

In a statement he said: “I am disappointed that youths in Dunbar continue to meet in large numbers and cause significant antisocial behaviour and disorder. Last weekend my officers were the target of unacceptable abusive language and abusive behaviour.

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A Police Scotland officer outside his van picture: JPI Media

"A significant amount of alcohol is also being consumed, leaving youngsters vulnerable and open to abuse when they are not in a fit state to think sensibly. On more than one occasion, youths have been taken to hospital.

“I am appealing to parents and carers to assist us in combating this issue.”

He urged those caring for a child or young person to not allow underage people to have access to alcohol from home.

“If they come home drunk, please challenge them, and prevent it from happening again,” he added.

"It may be that your child is not the one committing any particular offence but if they are in a group of youths, some of whom are committing crimes, we will take action against everyone.”

Chief Inspector Mitchell urged parents and carers to work with police in helping reduce the disorder and preventing youngsters from being charged.

He said: “My officers are working alongside East Lothian Council Community Wardens and they have seized significant amounts of alcohol and charged a number of youths for ASB related offences. They have visited local shops reminding them of their responsibilities and carried out high visibility patrols.

“In the coming days and weeks we will have national police resources in Dunbar, supporting my local officers and we will take a robust approach to any disorder.

“I need you all to do your bit to help us, to protect your children and to make your town a safe place to live, work and visit.”

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