Petition calls for action against unruly kids

Chief inspector Alasdair MacLeod: "We are taking these crimes seriously"Chief inspector Alasdair MacLeod: "We are taking these crimes seriously"
Chief inspector Alasdair MacLeod: "We are taking these crimes seriously"
A petition calling for action to control a group of Stornoway youngsters who allegedly run a campaign of threats and harassment in the town attracted 1000 signatures within 24 hours of being launched.

The petition called on the local authority to “sanction these individuals with antisocial behaviour orders and parenting orders to their parents”.

It was launched by Louisa Barron-Macdonald after she and her family suffered a “terrifying” experience when her husband challenged and then videoed a group of youths who had thrown a cycle in front of his car.

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They followed him home and, Ms Barron-Macdonald told the Gazette, “keyed” the car and “hurled the most horrendous abuse and threats. They told me they were going to come back and do in the windows of the house”.

She phoned the police and put the video on Facebook. However, she said, this led to threats from one of the parents about what he would do if the video was not removed.

Since launching the petition, she has been inundated with support and multiple stories of similar or worse experiences. “One woman was in touch to say they told her three year-old son, playing in his own garden, that they were going to kill him”.

After the petition had been made public, police confirmed a number of youths had been charged.

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Western Isles Area Commander, Chief Inspector Alasdair Macleod said: “We are taking these crimes very seriously and I would urge anyone who comes across disorder to contact police. Antisocial behaviour and criminal acts will not be tolerated.

“Officers are carrying out routine patrols with particular attention on areas reporting an increase in this type of behaviour. Anyone found to be committing these offences will be dealt with appropriately.

“We understand the impact these crimes have on the local community and I would like to thank locals who continue to bring these incidents to our attention. I would reassure them that everything possible is being done to reduce antisocial behaviour in our area.

“I will personally be working alongside our partners in the community and in local services to ensure that we are doing all we can to protect ourselves from this type of behaviour while prioritising the welfare of our children.

“In the meantime I would encourage members of the public to continue reporting these matters to Police Scotland on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”