Lighting bid to tackle anti- social behaviour in town

Hawick councillor Davie Paterson in Howegate Close where residents have complained about late night disturbances.
Hawick councillor Davie Paterson in Howegate Close where residents have complained about late night disturbances.

There could be light at the end of the tunnel for residents fed-up with anti-social behaviour in the Howegate area of Hawick.

People living there say it has become the refuge for under-age drinking and drug taking by marauding youngsters, who have urinated on their doorsteps and banged on residents’ doors late into the night.

Now there is hope of a solution to the problem after it emerged that a council tender was out for new street lighting to be introduced in the area.

The lighting can’t be in place soon enough for Councillor Davie Paterson, independent member for Hawick and Hermitage, who has received complaints from his constituents.

He said: “I am hearing about youngsters way younger than 18 drinking, urinating and taking drugs in peoples’ closes, shouting and banging on elderly peoples’ doors at 2.30am. It’s totally unacceptable.

“I am not saying that the police weren’t there, they probably were, but the sad thing is that there aren’t enough of them.

“We brought up the introduction of lighting during the councillors’ meeting with the police and officers from Scottish Borders Housing Association and the council as hopefully a first step. Then later we can look at CCTV and gates, but before anything like that happens there will have to be a consultation with the residents first to see if they want these measures, or if they are needed. But there seems to be a congregation of under-agers high on something causing mayhem for my constituents.”

A Scottish Borders Council spokesman said: “We currently have a tender out for the purchase of the next lot of LEDs and as part of this we hope to improve the lighting in the Howegate.

“The tender contract should be awarded very soon and then we will be able to programme delivery of the required work.”

Mr Paterson added: “The better lighting would make it easier for the police to catch whoever it is that is causing all the problems in the Howegate.

“I got a call from an old lady this week saying that she had been speaking to a neighbour who had her door banged at 3.30am in the morning. We can’t allow this behaviour to go on without taking action to tackle it.”