Call for caution over drop in youth calls

Councillor Watson McAteer
Councillor Watson McAteer

In a marked contrast to the previous few months, police were called to Burnfoot only three times in April to deal with youth calls.

This was the news from PC Stuart Hogg at Monday night’s community council meeting in the town hall.

This was welcomed by community councillors and area members but Watson McAteer sounded a note of caution, saying: “Although encouraging to hear that youth-related antisocial behaviour calls have reduced significantly in Burnfoot, it is important that we are not complacent. A multi-agency approach continues to be the best way of dealing with this specific problem and all of the partners must remain fully committed for the long term.”

Last August, the Hawick News reported that there had been no youth-related calls to the estate.

But by the turn of the year, antisocial behaviour had escalated and police were heavily criticised at meetings of the estate’s community council.

Several members of the public contacted the Hawick News to report that a gang of around 20 youngsters was “terrorising” the estate and also criticised the effectiveness of the 101 number.

Also welcoming the latest figures is Councillor Stuart Marshall who said: “Whilst I welcome the reduction in youth calls to Burnfoot I would also ask that we do not take our eye off the ball and continue with the police presence in the scheme.

“Many residents are expressing to me their wish to keep the police patrols going as they feel reassured.

“But we must continue with the good work that is being done by so many groups in Burnfoot.”

Burnfoot Community Council chairman Michael Grieve added: “I think this is good news considering what some residents were having to put up with in the last few months. We are working closely with the police and other agencies who have a stake in the estate and I really do hope we have turned a corner in Burnfoot.”