Moray partnership take proactive line in protecting school property

AS THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS begin Moray’s Community Safety Partnership are looking to prevent an increase in antisocial behaviour and vandalism throughout the region.

‘Operation Regard’ will see police officers and community wardens on patrol in towns and popular hot-spot areas in evenings and over weekends to proactively deter any issues.

Inspector Paul McCruden explained: “Over the course of school holidays there can often be an increase in antisocial behaviour and reported vandalisms.

“We are mindful of this and so Police Officers and Community Wardens will be proactively patrolling looking to engage positively with young people and deter them from becoming involved in antisocial behaviour.

“Vandalism to private property causes distress to owners and vandalism to public areas and buildings disappoints the whole community.”

Insp McCruden added that vandalisms to schools was particularly unacceptable and would not be tolerated: “The cost to repair windows, doors and roofs can be significant and can impact on the use of buildings until they are repaired. The School Watch element of Op Regard will involve a variety of staff from across the partnership keeping a specific eye on schools as they go about their daily business

“Also, be assured that where criminality takes place we will take a robust approach and anyone found to be responsible will be reported to the relevant authority, be it the Procurator Fiscal or the Youth Justice Management Unit.

“Being reported for a crime could potentially affect or limit future education and career choices and so the best advice is to stay safe and out of trouble.”

Willie Findlay, Moray Council Community Safety Officer said: “Boisterous behaviour through groups of young people congregating and making lots of noise may be innocent enough, but it can be a nuisance for residents who report it as antisocial in nature. It causes concern, particularly amongst older members of the community who can feel intimidated and anxious by large groups.

“I would urge parents to be aware of what their children are up to during the school holidays and to discuss what is and isn’t acceptable with them. At the end of the day we want everybody of all ages to have a great and enjoyable summer as well as a safe one.”

Anyone witnessing antisocial behaviour is asked to report it at the time it is occurring to Police Scotland on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 should they wish to remain anonymous.