Make sure you’re listened to over antisocial issues

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IN RESPONSE to your letter of the week (September 30), my heart went out to the elderly pensioner who has suffered 58 years of antisocial behaviour. My brother was also subjected to many months of misery by his neighbours. We reported what was happening, but nothing was done.

In the end, my brother was brutally murdered by his neighbours in April of last year. And while I don’t mean to scare anyone by writing this, this can be the reality of antisocial behaviour.

So please, stand up, make yourself heard, and don’t stop until you’re listened to.

CAROLE WALKER

WITH regards to recent reports on antisocial behaviour, I have lived above a man for five years who sometimes wakes me up to eight times a night by slamming doors, playing loud music and turning up the volume on his television. My neighbour is 81 years old and old enough to know better.

I’ve filled in diary sheets, had the use of a noise-recording machine, and had a face-to-face talks with him and a mediator, but still he is allowed to do as he pleases. If the shoe was on the other foot and I was the problem, I’m sure I would have been jumped on from a great height a long time ago. So why hasn’t he?

My neighbour has had umpteen letters from Scottish Borders Housing Association, all of which he has ignored.

And he is still quite happily banging doors in such a violent manner that my ornaments fall off the shelf due to the vibration.

I am writing this letter to let readers know that it is not always the younger generation who cause antisocial problems. Sometimes older folk are just as bad, if not worse, than the youngsters.

I have been nothing but considerate to my neighbours in the 22 years that I have lived in my flat, and I’ve never had a complaint made about me. But how I wish other people were as thoughtful. How would they like it if they were on the receiving end?

SUSAN MACRAE

It comes as a disappointment to me that you view Hawick as the “dog dirt capital” of the Borders (From The Editor’s Chair, September 30). Yes, there are problem areas and with that a large amount of irresponsible dog owners. However, our figures do not show that it is that much worse than other areas, and our latest audit, carried out by both our own and independent inspectors, showed that there was “a significant decrease in sites [in the Borders] affected by dog fouling since last year – from 13.7 per cent to 8.4 per cent”. This shows we are doing something right.

But sadly the message does not seem to be getting through to Hawick, to the townsfolk who can help by reporting the ignorant few who treat the town like a toilet.

Since the beginning of this year there has only been four complaints recorded on our system from Hawick councillors George Turnbull and Ron Smith. However, this figure is only up three compared to the number of councillors’ complaints received last year. This logs complaints from both the public and councillors. On a few occasions the above councillors and Councillor Stuart Marshall have lodged verbal complaints with myself. Complaints from the Hawick public regarding this matter are, however, down on last year.

There are two wardens who cover from Yarrow to Bonchester and Midlem down to Newcastleton. This is a big area and dog fouling is only a part of their job. The 23 parks and street cleansing staff mentioned in your article cover the whole of the Borders and only three or four are based in Hawick.

With the above in mind I’d like to throw down the gauntlet to the folk of Hawick: Help us get it sorted like many others in the Borders do, by calling 0300 100 1800 (anonymously if preferred), by emailing dogfouling@scotborders.gov.uk or your local councillor or even me at lwyse@scotborders.gov.uk or by telephoning 01835 864412.

I also intend to be at the next Teviot and Liddesdale Area Committee in Hawick on October 18 to answer any questions.

COUNCILLOR LEN WYSE

IN REPLY to the recent letter from K. and W. Harvey on dog dirt and the fact that “the mess repeatedly appears at the same location on a daily basis” – dogs do this to ‘mark’ the areas that they feel are theirs.

If I might digress at little. In Paris, the authorities have a machine that scoops up dog mess and, most importantly, squirts disinfectant onto the area where the dog has fouled. The moral of the story is: Because dogs mess by scent, once the deed has been done and picked up by its owner, or hosed down by the council, another dog will come along and mess in the same place.

Perhaps responsible dog owners could not only carry with them a plastic bag but also a small container of disinfectant. Pick up the dog mess and squirt some of the solution where the dog has messed. That, I am certain, will stop the repeat messing by dogs in the same area. Also, could the council not hose the dirt from the riverside pathways and then spray disinfectant? A very simple way, I believe, if tried, to stop dogs doing their business in the same spot.

JAMIE BATTEN

I would like to thank the kind folk of Hawick who came to my aid after I tripped on the pavement in Oliver Crescent last Friday morning. My swollen nose and numerous cuts and bruises are on the mend. Thanks again.

CAROLINE LITTLE

JOHN Slorance has done a wonderful job reporting on pro running and now open athletics over a long period, and I wonder where the sport would be without him?

Never biased and giving all winners great credit, John loves to watch Hawick peds taste victory, but what must have given him this biggest thrill was watching his grandson Darcy Graham win several races this season. The sheer delight of watching one of your own win can’t be explained, you really have to experience it, but John deserves all the happiness the sport brings him.

Indeed, without his weekly reports throughout the summer, many people probably wouldn’t even know that the sport still exists. Well done, John.

ALAN SCOTT

ON BEHALF of Hawick Congregational Community Church, I would like to thank all who helped by giving their time and those who gave so generously when attending our recent autumn fayre. We raised more than £1,460. I would also like to thanks Hawick Upholstery, which donated £85 it raised during Teribuskers for our Reaching Out projects.

MARION UNDERHILL

Treasurer