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Meeting to be held to discuss anti-social behaviour in a Moray town

Douglas Ross with Forres Community councillor Eleanor Hayward
Douglas Ross with Forres Community councillor Eleanor Hayward

Residents have been invited to air their views about anti-social behaviour blighting a Moray town at a public meeting.

Locals in Forres have been left concerned about unacceptable behaviour in the area, with the elderly most affected by it.

Now a meeting will be held on Friday January 25 at Forres Town Hall beginning at 2pm where people can discuss the issue.

It will be convened by Moray MP Douglas Ross who has invited representatives from Police Scotland, the fire service and the local authority to join him so that they can reassure the community that something will be done to help them.

Members of Forres Community Council will host the meeting.

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Group secretary Eleanor Hayward said: “I know people who are badly affected and am pleased that these issues will be aired in public.

“I think it will be a comfort to the people concerned that there is this concern for their welfare.

“I look forward to a constructive discussion and a better understanding of the causes that lie behind these problems.”

Moray MP Mr Ross has been contacted many times by constituents concerned about anti-social behaviour in Forres and he hopes a solution is found during the public meeting.

He said:  “I’ve been struck by the number of people in Forres who have contacted me with their concerns about anti-social behaviour.

“Sometimes the people who have spoken to me have been affected themselves while others have been in touch because they are worried about friends, neighbours or, quite often, elderly relatives. Drugs seem to be involved in many cases and at other times it can simply be thoughtless behaviour such as leaving dogs outside barking.

“Although Forres is, on the whole, a safe town, nevertheless there are too many people whose lives are blighted by the unacceptable behaviour of other residents.

“I am particularly concerned by the impact of bad behaviour on vulnerable people, particularly the elderly, who may be living alone.

“I have even had residents, who have lived in their houses in Forres for decades, saying they are seriously thinking about moving because of this issue.”

Police have been called out to deal with a spate of crimes in Forres over the past few months.

Over the summer, a Forres man broke into and ransacked a pensioner’s home in the town as she slept.

Guy Whitelaw was jailed for two years for stealing £45 along with some jewellery and perfume in an incident that left the victim shaken.

He also attempted to break into another house in Meikle Crook on the same night, June 22, before being chased off by the owner.

In a separate incident, a vandal caused £10,000 of damage to Forres Academy in July, breaking windows, science lab equipment and using fire extinguishers.

A 17-year-old man pled guilty to the offence and will be sentenced later on this month.

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