Furious residents in a Moray town have demanded action to combat a wave of anti-social behaviour sweeping the area.
There was standing room only at a meeting in Forres Town Hall yesterday where locals lifted the lid on nuisance acts making their lives a “misery”.
Reports of rowdy crowds leaving pubs, drug dealing and cars with loud exhausts were made to representatives from Moray Council, police and the fire service.
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Complaints were also made about litter blighting some of the town’s beauty spots as well as how to combat dog mess being left in the street.
Forres Community Council called the meeting to put together a picture of events happening across the area.
Group secretary Eleanor Hayward called on more consideration for residents when agencies deal with people who are proving a nuisance for neighbours.
She said: “Quite often it’s said that the person causing the behaviour is a vulnerable person – but the bigger picture is that their neighbours who are elderly or maybe children can also be considered vulnerable.
“I’ve heard of some elderly people barricading themselves in behind the door, which is quite clearly a fire hazard.”
David Munro, a member of the council’s housing team, explained action could be taken against tenants who were causing problems for neighbours – including written and verbal warnings before a “contract” is drafted to agree steps that should be taken.
However, he stressed he was “loathed” to move problem tenants to other towns due to the perception of moving the problem to another area.
Mr Munro added: “If we evict someone then it can be a case of them going out one door and in another because the council has certain responsibilities.”
Inspector Grant McCutcheon explained that police were always eager to receive CCTV footage of alleged incidents – but warned of “grey areas” when using privately-owned cameras for prosecutions.
Moray MP Douglas Ross, who chaired the meeting, said: “Forres is a generally safe town which for the most part has only low levels of criminal activity, but unfortunately, there are certain elements who would seek to disrupt this.
“I convened the meeting due to the perception that there is a lack of action by the authorities to tackle the problems which are making lives a misery.”