Fern­hill fire­bugs are out of con­trol

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Edel Ke­nealy

Re­plac­ing wheelie bins that have been stolen and set on fire in Fern­hill has cost South La­nark­shire Coun­cil al­most £4000 in the past four months.

Ap­prox­i­mately 85 bins have been stolen since Oc­to­ber and lo­cals say anti-so­cial be­hav­iour in the scheme is “spi­ralling out of con­trol”.

Since Oc­to­ber fire­fight­ers have been re­peat­edly called to the scheme to put out the bin fires and oth­ers set on open grass­land.

And this year at least eight cars have been dam­aged, with most hav­ing their wing mir­rors kicked off and oth­ers spray­painted with green graf­fiti.

Davy O’Neill, a com­mu­nity cham­pion of Fern­hill and a coach at Fern­hill Soc­cer School, said there is a grow­ing feel­ing of anger amongst many lo­cals.

“It’s a shame,” Davy said. “The gang fight­ing has stopped and all of a sud­den there’s this van­dal­ism.

“It’s spi­ralling out of con­trol and there are th­ese fires. Bins are con­stantly be­ing set on fire. I reckon the fire en­gines are up here five times a week.”

He added: “Res­i­dents are very an­gry. A few of them are say­ing it’s a mat­ter of time be­fore peo­ple get hurt.

“Th­ese bins have cans in them and they could ex­plode.”

Cly­desmill Fire Sta­tion man­ager Robert Deans said: “There has def­i­nitely been an in­crease since Novem­ber in peo­ple set­ting fires in the Ruther­glen South area, specif­i­cally in Fern­hill.

“At­tend­ing th­ese fires di­verts our re­sources to a dif­fer­ent area from where they re­ally need to be.”

Daniel Lowe, the coun­cil’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of hous­ing and tech­ni­cal re­sources, said: “We are aware of a re­cent out­break of van­dal­ism in the Fern­hill area in re­la­tion to wheelie bins be­ing set alight.

“In re­sponse to this the coun­cil have in­creased high-vis­i­bil­ity com­mu­nity war­den pa­trols and the pres­ence of mo­bile CCTV ve­hi­cles in the area.

PC Laura Tay­lor said: “We are aware that there has been an in­crease in an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour within the Fern­hill area over re­cent months and we want to re­as­sure the pub­lic that we are work­ing in part­ner­ship with South La­nark­shire Coun­cil and Scot­tish Fire and Res­cue to ad­dress this is­sue.

“Lo­cal com­mu­nity polic­ing of­fi­cers are car­ry­ing out ex­tra pa­trols within the area and we would en­cour­age any­one with in­for­ma­tion in re­la­tion to th­ese in­ci­dents to con­tact us on 101 or al­ter­na­tively via Crimestop­pers on 0800 555 111, where you can pro­vide in­for­ma­tion anony­mously”.

An­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour can also be re­ported to South La­nark­shire coun­cil by call­ing 0800 389 1105.

Burnt out Van­dals leave their mark on the scheme

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