Get a grip of your kids, Burnfoot parents told

Councillor Stuart Marshall in the area of Burnfoot where youths have been on the rampage
Councillor Stuart Marshall in the area of Burnfoot where youths have been on the rampage

A Burnfoot councillor is calling for a crackdown on the estate’s antisocial youths who, he claims, are ruining the lives of certain residents.

And after Stuart Marshall witnessed a group of around 20 youths running riot on the estate on Monday night, he is calling on parents to control their kids.

Mr Marshall has also hit out at both the 101 number which he says “isn’t working”, and Police Scotland chiefs who he says are to blame for much of the criticism levelled at ordinary neighbourhood cops.

Mr Marshall, who alongside fellow ward councillor Watson McAteer, has held several multi-agency meetings on the issue, said: “These youths are causing real misery to many residents. I have taken several calls from very upset people who have had enough. One resident has had his window smashed twice and others have called me to report youths hurling stones at their doors and cars.”

He added: “Youngsters are also entering the former Burnfoot Roadhouse which, at the moment, is a construction site and a very dangerous place to be, especially at night. What are the parents of these kids doing to address the problem? Do they know where their kids are? And if not, why not? It’s time for parents to take responsibility and find out what their kids are up to.”

Mr Marshall is also critical of the police 101 number.

He said: “The Police 101 number isn’t working the way it should, and I feel sorry for our local police who seem to be getting the criticism for decisions that are being taken much higher up the line.

“Councillor McAteer and myself are trying to set up a meeting with senior police officers regarding this.”

The Hawick News spoke to two Burnfoot residents this week who claim the police are doing little to solve the antisocial youth problems.

Both wished to remain anonymous, but one said: “I have had property damaged twice, have reported it and the police seem totally uninterested. Phoning 101 is a complete waste of time.”

The man, who has lived at his Burnfoot address for the last eight years, added: “My window was broken for the second time at the start of the week and, after the police visited, they said they’d be in touch but I have heard no more. It’s getting out of hand.”

And another Burnfoot resident who has lived on the estate for 52 years and been in the same house for almost three decades, said: “I am sick to death of the police saying they’ll deal with it and put extra bodies on duty. We were promised officers from Selkirk and Jedburgh but it all comes to nothing. There is no police prescence on this estate so there is no deterrent.”

The man told the Hawick News how he visited Hawick police station to report an incident and when he picked up the phone outside the building, he got through to Bilston Glen and was told no one in Hawick was available to help him.

He added: “I was told that there was no-one who could see me but I could see people in the building. The police don’t care at all.”

Chief Inspector Andy Mclean of Police Scotland said: “We are aware of recent issues with youths in Burnfoot and are working with the local community to resolve these issues.”