Reduction in anti-social behaviour in Levenmouth during ongoing initiative
Officers have reported a notable reduction in anti-social behaviour in the Levenmouth area as a result on an ongoing initiative aimed at tackling the issue.
Improving Levenmouth Together was introduced in 2019 to counter anti-social behaviour, deliberate fire-raising and off-road motorcycles after a sharp increase in reports about these issues the previous year.
Police Scotland recognised this was having a significant impact on people living in the area and officers and elected members from the Fife Council Local Area Committee made contact with a number of partners across the public, private and third sectors to initiate a multi-agency, wraparound approach to tackling the issue.
It was agreed that two police officers would be dedicated to policing anti-social behaviour between 1 April and 31 October each year.
The project has evolved in 2021 to include more focus on working with young people in the area to prevent them from being involved in criminality and diverting them towards a positive destination.
Prevention, intervention and diversion is now at the heart of the project and there have been a number of initiatives created in 2021 to provide young people with resources and environments in the community to thrive. Furthermore, Police Scotland officers are working closely with Levenmouth Academy and third sector organisations to provide young people with opportunities to reach positive destinations, by gaining qualifications and life skills.
It is hoped this diversionary approach will inspire a generation of young people to aspire to avoid the temptation to become involved in anti-social behaviour and make positive life choices.
Inspector Paul Gillespie, Levenmouth Community Inspector said: “Improving Levenmouth Together has evolved since it was first introduced to include diversionary projects, which provide young people across all backgrounds with opportunities to thrive.
“I am grateful for the support of the Fife Council Local Area Committee and our partners in supporting our objectives. My aim is to ensure Police Scotland officers are at the heart of the Levenmouth community and it is recognised our local officers are committed to improving the lives and wellbeing of young people across the area.
“Levenmouth is an exciting place to live, work and visit currently. The introduction of new industry and the railway line in the coming years will see opportunities grow for young people. It is important we work with our partnership network to enable young people to thrive.
“Sergeant Craig Fyall and his team of community officers work tirelessly to ensure people in Levenmouth can enjoy a safe living environment. The Improving Levenmouth Together project has been an incredible success and we are looking to build a legacy in the community over a sustained period.”
Councillor Ken Caldwell, Convener of the Levenmouth Area Committee said: "Improving Levenmouth Together is a fantastic project which came about following many complaints to councillors across Levenmouth. The idea of funding police officers was very innovative and it has certainly shown to have worked.
“Levenmouth has a reputation for collaborative working and this has been key to the development and success of the project. I am very pleased that we are moving from an enforcement option towards an intervention and diversion strategy. This was always the plan but it was difficult to implement due to covid restrictions.
“I would like to thank Inspector Gillespie and Sergeant Fyall and their team for doing such a tremendous job working with our communities and to all the partners involved for their excellent contributions."
The Improving Levenmouth Together programme in 2021 led to:
• 36 vehicles seizures
• 311 people charged in connection with Anti-social behaviour and Road Traffic offences.
• Five drug search warrants executed.
• Four stolen vehicles recovered.
In addition, calls to Police Scotland have reduced by 90% in relation to off road motorbikes from 891 in 2018 to 85 during the same period in 2021.