Friday October 1st 2021
Fresh calls for the reintroduction of community safety officers to tackle antisocial behaviour problems across Midlothian are being made.
The safety teams were disbanded in 2019 after Midlothian Council decided to end funding.
But a meeting of elected members next week will be asked to look at reinstating them amid concern about the impact of antisocial behaviour on communities.
A motion by SNP councillors Debbi McCall and Colin Cassidy calls for a “business case” to be made for investing in measures to address and prevent antisocial behaviour including an option for bringing community safety officers back.
The motion says: “Whilst appropriate enforcement action should always be pursued rigorously by all partners involved, the prevention of anti social behaviour and de-escalation of antisocial behaviours could potentially save resources and distress to Midlothian residents.
“Therefore, the council will bring forward a paper to the next full council to establish a business case for investing in measures to robustly address and prevent antisocial behaviour, including an option to reinstate Community Safety Officers.
“Midlothian Council also notes that the role of Police Scotland is crucial to a joined up approach in tackling anti social behaviour and asks that they are asked to contribute to the forthcoming paper.”
A report to the council’s police and fire rescue board in May revealed that that anti-social behaviour incidents in the county rose by 32 percent in 2020/21, although it points out that reports relating to potential lockdown breaches were included and contributed to the increase.
Earlier this year Lothian Buses withdrew some evening services from the county amid ongoing issues with youths.
It was later revealed police sent a decoy bus into Dalkeith to target the offenders and made four arrests over two weekends.Tweet Share on Facebook