Gangs of youth a concern for local businesses, says Councillor

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A Stirling councillor has raised concerns about a trend of anti-social behaviour in Stirling City Centre.

Stirling North Councillor Jim Thomson told Mercat Cross and City Centre Community Council that he had spoken to local merchants on Friars Street who had said that youths had been gathering in large numbers from 6pm onwards in the area.

Thomson said that he would be meeting with the Stirling Area Commander for Police Scotland, Chief Inspector Gill Marshall, about the issue.

He said that Operation Steadfast, which ran in the city centre between the police and Stirling Council over Christmas, did have an effect but that the operation is no longer being carried out.

Thomson went on to say that there have been similar issues reported in the Stirling Arcade and the Thistles Shopping Centre.

Operation Steadfast reported a decrease in anti-social behaviour over the last festive period.

Several issues with anti-social behaviour and young people have been reported, with a group of youths smashing the glass door of Burgh Coffeehouse and an incident outside of the McDonald’s on Murray Place that police responded to.

Friars Street has been identified as a problem area for anti-social behaviour and traders have previously called for action.

Councillor Thomson called for a greater police presence on Friars Street in 2014 to tackle anti-social behaviour, which included underage drinking.

Operation Steadfast began in 2018 and operated on Friars St, Baker St, Murray Place and the Back Walk, and the periods in which it has been in operation have been reported as successful.

Featured image credit: Wiki commons

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Freelance award-winning journalist | Best Journalist SPARC Scotland 2021 | Stirling Uni Class of 2021 | Former Deputy Editor - Brig Newspaper | Bylines in The Scottish Sun, The Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser, The Barrhead News, The (Renfrew and Johnstone) Gazette, Brig Newspaper, The Oban Times, Stirling Today and Tales From Lockdown.

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