The patrols, which involve Police Scotland, Vibrant Communities and Greener Communities, are supported by work that is taking place within Education with our Campus Police Officers and diversionary activities organised by Vibrant Communities including the Friday night football leagues, which has really taken off in the Doon Valley.
Out in our communities, the Police, Youth Workers and local groups including Yipworld, speak to young people highlighting the dangers of alcohol and drug misuse and help them to understand how others may perceive some of their behaviours. Often the young people don’t realise that gathering together can make other people feel unsafe. The presence of the CCTV van, manned by the team from Greener Communities, helps to support the work carried out by Police Scotland and Vibrant Communities, reducing incidences of anti-social behaviour.
Councillor Jim McMahon, Cabinet Member for Older People and Community Safety said: “The Youth Action team plays an important role in ensuring that everyone feels safe in their own community. We listened to concerns and ensured that patrols took place in areas where we have seen either groups of young people gathering or incidences of antisocial behaviour. Over the pandemic, particularly at times when lockdown was lifted and young people were able to spend time together again, we saw young people gathering in larger groups. This was a complex situation; we had to ensure that we supported the wellbeing of our young people, who like the rest of us have been negatively affected by Covid-19, while taking strong action within our communities.
“The Youth Action team has a proven track record of engaging positively with young people through initiatives like No Knives Better Lives, and have shown time after time that diverting young people from antisocial behaviours is more effective than enforcement alone. This knowledge and experience has been effectively deployed and I am pleased to say that in recent weeks we have seen a decline in reports of antisocial behaviour within targeted areas.
“I am proud of our young people. They have come through a tough year, which has tested the mettle of the most resilient amongst us, and have done it without complaining. Over the summer, we have organised a full programme of activities for a range of age groups. I would ask parents and carers to have a look at the list and encourage your young people to sign up. When you know where they are, you know they are safe from harm.”
The programme of summer activities is available on our website – www.east-ayrshire.gov.uk
Inspector Julie McLeish from Police Scotland said: "Local officers will continue to work closely with the Vibrant Communities Team and there are a lot of options and alternative activities provided for young people across East Ayrshire.
“Disorder and antisocial behaviour affects the whole community and it is unfair that all young people can be considered responsible when it is the actions of a limited group that causes concern. We all want our young people to enjoy themselves safely and our officers follow Vibrant Communities online so they too can share information about what activities are on offer."