Half-term rampage as mindless vandals run amok in West Pilton
MINDLESS yobs have been condemned for rampaging through residential streets during school half-term.
Police were called to reports of youths hurling eggs and stones from the roof of a community centre in West Pilton Park on Thursday night.
Local witnesses said that at one point up to 50 children were involved in the disorder.
Earlier in the week, a car was tipped onto its side in Muirhouse Avenue – the second such vandalism attack in a matter of days.
Tory Forth councillor Jim Campbell said: “I’m sure the community are incredibly disappointed that this is happening and I know that lots of community groups, council agencies and others, including the police, are working hard to try and avoid these issues.
“We’ve seen a reduction in antisocial behaviour around motorcycles, which is welcome.
“We want the whole area to be a safe place where the whole community feel they can go out and enjoy the area without any fear.”
Cllr Campbell urged witnesses to report any antisocial behaviour to police and welcomed additional patrols in the area.
But he said it was “high time” the Capital proportionately has the same number of community officers as Glasgow.
The area has seen similar problems during previous half-term school holidays.
In February last year, vandals caused thousands of pounds of damage and put lives at risk in two nights of wild mayhem.
More than 30 vehicles were smashed up and motorists had rocks hurled at their cars as they drove by.
In one night in West Pilton, 17 vehicles, including a community minibus, were vandalised in the space of a few hours.
“Antisocial behaviour can have a serious effect,” added Cllr Campbell.
“Nobody was injured in these cases but such behaviour could result in people seriously injured. It’s a worry that the community should be in that position.”
Police are investigating after a Kia Picanto was found rocked onto its side in Muirhouse Avenue at about 9.40pm on Tuesday.
And on Thursday, youths were reported pelting a junior football training session with eggs and stones from the roof of the neighbourhood centre at West Pilton Park. Police were called while a window to the centre was later smashed and a fence to a block of new flats damaged.
Two 15-year-old boys were arrested and charged and a report will be submitted to the Children’s Reporter.
Inspector Richard Homewood said: “We received a number of calls about groups of youths congregating in the North West of the city last night and causing general nuisance to others in the community.
“With half-term here, we would urge parents to make sure they know where their children are and what they are doing. Speak to your child, or the young people in your life, about the consequences to their safety and their future if they become involved in criminality.”
Anyone with information regarding antisocial behaviour can contact police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.