‘No quick fix’ for Selkirk’s youth disorder

SELKIRK must come together to foster a culture of mutual respect which spans the generations to combat the phenomenon of youth disorder.

That was the message conveyed to the community council on Monday by its chairman, Gordon Edgar, after he had attended a special meeting at Rowlands Dry Bar, where young teenagers gather twice a week.

The summit was called after a deputation of residents attended last month’s community council meeting and claimed they were at the end of their tether with the antisocial behaviour of young people in the area around Mungo Park Court and Sainsbury’s at the east end of High Street.

The householders described incidents of noise, vandalism, graffiti, littering, swearing and urinating in public which they ascribed to large groups of up to 30 youths from 7pm until midnight. They said the problems also occurred at school lunchtimes and claimed police were not treating the issue as seriously as they should.

After the February meeting it was agreed to bring together local stakeholders to discuss the way forward and, on Wednesday, community police officers Roy Brown and Eddie Kelly, the high school’s deputy rector, Graham Marshall, and three representatives from community education met Mr Edgar and Graham Easton of Rowlands.

“It was a very positive exchange of views and information, but there are no easy answers,” said Mr Edgar. “It emerged that much work is already going on behind the scenes and the police and the high school are working together.

“Pupils have been identified and spoken to, but there is no quick fix. Selkirk is not immune from changes in social culture which affect young people and to find an enduring solution we must work together on a number of strategies and that work has already begun.

“Another meeting has been arranged for next month and we hope to come up with a sustainable programme, on which we will be seeking public support, by June.”