Edinburgh's Morningside area hit by fresh spate of anti-social behaviour targeted at shops and businesses

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A fresh spate of thefts and anti-social behaviour has been reported in Edinburgh's Morningside area, with youths spitting at shopkeepers, pushing customers and giving verbal abuse.

Morningside Tory councillor Mare-Clair Munro said she had reported 10 incidents to the police over three weeks. It follows a series of similar incidents around October and November last year when Cllr Munro claimed there were groups "terrorising" residents and local businesses.

Shops and businesses in and around Morningside Road have been targeted in the latest spate of anti-social behaviour.Shops and businesses in and around Morningside Road have been targeted in the latest spate of anti-social behaviour.
Shops and businesses in and around Morningside Road have been targeted in the latest spate of anti-social behaviour.

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Today she said: "Unfortunately our area is experiencing antisocial behaviour and theft once again. It went quiet over Christmas and in January, but now it has started up again."

Incidents she has reported to the police include:

February 16: Three youths, 16/17 years old, two boys and a girl, enter a shop in Morningside Road and behave aggressively.  Cllr Munro says the boys have been identified as among those causing anti-social behaviour in October.

February 18:  A group of three women caught on CCTV shoplifting in another shop on Morningside Road.  They are aggressive and confrontational when asked to leave, physically pushing customers out the way. 

March 1:  Group of three teens stealing tubs of ice cream.

March 6:  Three skirts stolen by a woman wearing lots of thick clothing and carrying a very large shopping bag. She was accompanied by two teenage girls who were loud and distracting. 

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March 6:  Group of three boys enter a shop behaving in an intimidating way, shouting and being abusive. They refused to leave and were spitting on a staff member, who was left feeling shaken by the incident.

March 8:  Group of five teenagers enter another business, acting in a provocative way and filming. When the owner asks them to leave they respond with verbal abuse. 

March 8:  A group of youths harassed a shopkeeper and are believed to have stolen goods.

March 8: Reports of three drunk teenagers shouting and hitting the window of a business in Morningside Road

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Cllr Munro said: "Local businesses are at the heart of our community. This behaviour destroys our high street and places staff under severe stress. Anti-social behaviour erodes local pride, blights our high streets and is a stain on our community. It undermines the basic right of people to feel safe in the place they call home.

"There is no such thing as petty crime. It leaves people feeling unsafe, and business owners intimidated and out of pocket.  I have contacted the police who are looking into the most recent incidents within my ward. I would ask the general public and local business owners to always contact the police and report, anti-social behaviour and theft."

Sergeant Jen MacGregor of Police Scotland said: “We are aware of the adverse impact that anti-social behaviour has on our local communities, and we have been working with our partners including the local authority to tackle this issue and take action against those responsible.

 “The local policing team have been monitoring the area and carrying out high-visibility patrols. We are committed to supporting the local community with our partners to assist with intervention and encourage people away from this kind of behaviour.

 “We will continue to respond to any behaviour of this nature that is reported, and we would urge people to report incidents to us through 101.”

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