Burnfoot action plan tops agenda

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A crisis meeting will be held in a bid to end the continued disorder at Burnfoot – and police have pledged a cash boost to increase officer numbers.

The multi-agency meeting, which will take place on Tuesday, has been arranged by ward councillors Watson McAteer and Stuart Marshall, and among those attending will be senior police officers, local councillors, council officials, youth and social workers as well as housing providers
and community representatives.

The invite has also been extended to Michael Moore MP and the town’s two MSPs, John Lamont and Paul Wheelhouse.

Former top cop and now Burnfoot councillor, Mr McAteer, is welcoming a commitment from police to find the cash to boost officer numbers.

Speaking to the Hawick News, he said: “Earlier this week I held a meeting with Chief Inspector Andy McLean, the Borders Area Police Commander.

“Burnfoot was the key topic and I was assured that additional funding and support was being put in place to tackle the ongoing youth-related problems.”

More than 20 residents attended a hastily-arranged meeting at the Health Flat at Burnfoot’s Kenilworth Avenue on Wednesday night, with several residents voicing
concerns over police numbers.

Responding to this, Mr McAteer said: “There is no doubt that police resources are thin on the ground and that they are frequently being reprioritised to other incidents across the Borders. I welcome a commitment to dedicate resources to deal with this problem and the small minority who are making life hell for residents in this community.”

Speaking of Tuesday’s meeting, the councillor added: “Next week’s meeting is being held to address the ongoing disturbances in Burnfoot – and will be an opportunity to identify actions to tackle the antisocial behaviour issues.”

Burnfoot residents who have been affected by anti-social youths will be invited to a public meeting within the next two or three weeks to discuss plans to deal with the issues which have plagued the estate in recent months.

Councillor McAteer added: “It is our intention to hold a public meeting in Burnfoot in two or three weeks’ time where the agreed plans will be shared and discussed with the community.

“It is vitally important that this matter is resolved quickly with a refocus on the fantastic community work taking place on this vibrant estate.”