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Aberdeenshire village residents up in arms over ‘annoying’ youths who drink alcohol and drop litter near historical monument

Residents are concerned over burnt tyre marks and littering in the area. Picture by Paul Glendall/DCT Media.
Residents are concerned over burnt tyre marks and littering in the area. Picture by Paul Glendall/DCT Media.

Residents in an Aberdeenshire village say a historic monument is being ruined by “annoying” youths.

Those living close to the Harlaw Monument, a popular walking spot and commemorative testament to the battle of the same name, say burnt tyre marks and litter are “ruining the area”.

The Harlaw residents say they face a “constant battle” with youths who use the spot to both drink alcohol and eat fast food late at night.

In response, police have asked anyone with concerns about anti-social behaviour to contact them on their 101 number as promptly as possible.

Aberdeenshire Council have also said they are investigating the issue.

Residents are ‘annoyed’ at the constant littering at Harlaw Monument.

One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, says he spends his mornings picking up their litter.

He said: “It is shocking, it is a historical monument that attracts a lot of people, you see a lot of cars up there and people of all ages coming up to visit.

“But kids are obviously coming up at night and making a mess.

“It’s not like there are no bins, there is clearly two bins there that they can use, it’s just really sad.

“I’m getting really fed up with it – it’s not just unsightly but also damaging to the countryside and it’s wildlife.”

Melted tyre tracks at Harlaw Monument. Picture by Paul Glendell.

The man and his family moved to the area – which he describes as a “beautiful little country spot” – one year ago and says the issues have persisted since day one.

“It is ruining that part of the area, when you walk down to the monument or drive past it you do see litter scattered about and blowing in the wind,” he said.

“It’s just annoying. One time we were walking down to the monument and there is a passing place before you get to it and there was a bag sitting which was full of alcoholic bottles.

“I hope something can be done, maybe signs could be put up to make it more obvious the place is being watched, whether it would make a difference to youngsters – probably not.

Inverurie and District councillor Lesley Berry asks whether “local youngsters ever get taught about the events that led up to the need for the Harlaw monument”. Picture by Paul Glendell 15/09/2021

“Last week I had to stop and pick it all up myself because although it does make you angry having to pick it up it’s better than leaving it.”

Inverurie and District councillor Lesley Berry said she is “saddened” by the youngsters’ behaviour.

She said: “As responsible citizens, it falls upon us all to treat all property in a respectful way.

“It saddens me that such an historic monument can be abused in such a way and I wonder if our local youngsters ever get taught about the events that led up to the need for the Harlaw Monument.

“I’d plead with everyone, young and old, to enjoy our beautiful part of the world but to leave no trace behind.”

Police response

A police spokesman said: “We are acutely aware of the disruptive effect anti-social behaviour can have on a community.

“Dedicated patrols are carried out in areas highlighted to us, with officers providing reassurance to the community as well as engaging with people to discourage anti-social behaviour.

“Anyone who has concerns about anti-social behaviour in their area is encouraged to contact police by calling 101 as promptly as possible.”

Council response

A spokeswoman at Aberdeenshire Council said: “We are investigating the issue at Harlaw Monument and will follow guidance from Police Scotland on any acts of antisocial behaviour within the community.

“We urge the public to respect the landscape by disposing of waste responsibly and reporting any instances of antisocial behaviour to the police.”

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