Parents are being urged to take responsibility for their children after a study was carried out by police in a bid to tackle the ongoing issue of noise disturbance and litter at the Howegate.
Following numerous complaints by the town’s residents, a multi-agency meeting was held at the beginning of this month by councillors, police officers and representatives of Scottish Borders Housing Association.
They now await the outcome of an environment survey carried out by the police to identify any improvements that can be made.
Hawick and Hermitage councillor David Paterson, who organised the meeting, told the Hawick News: “We realise that this has always been a busy area at nights, especially at weekends, but constituents who have lived in this area for over 40 years have certainly been telling me that it has now become unbearable due to the noise and the mess left by some youngsters that seem to congregate at this area at weekends.
“With all agencies working together hopefully, we can come to a solution that is acceptable to all.”
At a Hawick Community Council meeting held last week, its vice-chairman, Cameron Knox, warned that youths as young as 14 are regularly causing disturbances in the Howegate on Saturday nights, adding: “There are quite a few folk who are scared of it at the weekends.”
Watson McAteer, the town’s honorary provost, responded: “The police have agreed to spend a bit more time when they can to be seen visibly in the area, so you are absolutely right to raise it as an issue.
“What can be done now and what we can do in the longer term to get this nuisance more than anything else at a manageable level.”
Police inspector Carol Wood said: “We are fully aware of the ongoing issues with youths congregating and displaying anti-social behaviour in the Howegate area, particularly during weekends.
“Local officers have been working alongside the Scottish Borders Council and Scottish Borders Housing Association to address these issues.
“Part of our efforts to address these issues saw us undertake an environmental survey of the area to identify improvements that can be made.
“This typically looks at factors like lighting, landscaping etc, and we await the results of the report.
“I would also urge parents to take responsibility for their children and be aware of where they are and what they are doing.
“If your son or daughter is going out at a weekend and is hanging about in the Howegate, officers are observing under-age drinking and the youths are having to be assisted by street pastors or the police. This cannot continue.
“We will continue to work in partnership with various organisations and the local community to tackle anti-social behaviour in all its forms.”