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Police increase patrols in Westhill following rise in anti-social behaviour

By Kyle Ritchie

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Officers from the Garioch Community Policing Team have been carrying out proactive patrols in the Westhill area to tackle concerns around anti-social behaviour.

Over the past two weeks, police have been engaging with local business and members of the community, with resources being targeted towards areas that are highlighted.

As a result, a 20-year-old man has had his vehicle seized and been reported to the Procurator Fiscal in connection with careless driving, whilst a 19-year-old man received a Recorded Police Warning in connection with drugs possession.

Police have stepped up patrols in Westhill following a rise in anti-social incidents.
Police have stepped up patrols in Westhill following a rise in anti-social incidents.

Further patrols will be carried out in the coming weeks.

PC Emily Campbell said: “I would like to reassure members of the Westhill community that we remain firm in our zero-tolerance approach to antisocial behaviour.

“Feedback from local businesses has been positive and we continue to work closely with them to effectively combat this type of behaviour.

“We encourage anyone who experiences instances of anti-social behaviour to contact Police Scotland via 101, or in an emergency via 999.”

Local MP Andrew Bowie has said "short but focused" police intervention is needed to stop a surge in anti-social behaviour in the community.

He spoke following a string of incidents reported in the town, and a high-profile incident at Duncano's restaurant on March 22.

The MP said: “Westhill is not normally a place associated with anti-social behaviour, but talking to residents, there is growing evidence that there is an underlying problem and has been for some time.

“The incidents of the last month or so have been too severe to pass over.

“I really think Police Scotland has an opportunity to make a short but focused intervention which will make an immediate difference.

“Recent patrols are welcome — but undesirable elements need to be left in no doubt this is no place for trouble.

“The people here are trying to get on with quiet, family lives.

“Visibility is going to be key here and that’s why I’ve backed the likes of the SPF when it comes to keeping local stations open.

“I’ll be speaking with the divisional commander to ask what strategy is going to beat this unwelcome trend, if there’s any barriers to that, and what we can all do to help.”

SNP candidate for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine Glen Reynolds said: “I visited Duncano’s in Westhill with councillor Fatima Joji to meet the owner Lynne, following the disappointing level of anti-social behaviour staff and visitors were subjected to.

“Following this incident, Fatima and I were in contact with local police and we received a police report.

“We were advised they are investigating, with an interim measure in place to prevent further escalation such as organised patrols.

“We were informed that plans are underway to engage in joint talks with teaching staff and pupils to educate against anti-social behaviour.

“It remains a police matter to engage with Duncano’s on identifying and addressing the issue with the perpetrators.

“The meeting with Lynne was positive and demonstrated her eagerness to do what she can to help, recognising there are opportunities to positively engage our kids for the benefit of our community, and help ensure this situation does not happen again for the safety of our kids and restaurant visitors.”

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