Vennels drugs scourge
Antisocial behaviour is rife on city centre streets
A shocking video graphically illustrating problems faced by some Top of the Town residents has been sent to the Observer.
It shows three young men gathering during the weekend of September 23 and 24 in the Sma’ Vennel, between Baker Street and Spittal Street, to snort suspected drugs.
A young woman at first features with the three but when she walks out of shot, one of the men pinches a substance from his hand and snorts it.
Seconds later, the other two take and snort some of the substance from the man who runs his finger around the inside of his mouth. All three then walk out of camera range.
We received the 37-second tape just days after highlighting in our September 27 paper a proposal by Mercat Cross and City centre Community Council for a summit meeting to discuss antisocial behaviour problems in the Top of the Town.
Community Council chairman Andrew Szwebs, was shocked when the Observer showed him the tape, and said: “Not only do residents have to endure the snorting of drugs but also the injecting of drugs, under age drinking, vomiting, urination, excretion and people committing sexual acts.
“It is entirely understandable that residents of this Vennel are extremely upset that these things are going on.”
Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford has now written to both Stirling Area Police Commander, Chief Inspector Lynn Ratcliff, and Stirling Council chief executive Stewart Carruth to seek help for residents in the area plagued the problems.
Mr Crawford has received a number of complaints from residents of the vennels. One person was angry about the amount of vomit left each weekend in the dimly-lit passageways.
Mr Crawford said: “The residents I have spoken to are seriously concerned that they are not being fully supported and that this situation has not improved despite multiple reports to the police and council.
“Many of the residents tell me the council has not done enough to put in place deterrents for this sort of behaviour and it is therefore allowed to continue.
“People felt that as the area seems to be a hotbed of criminal activity, regular patrolling from police officers, particularly at weekends, would help deter those who would engage antisocial behaviour.”
Constituents were also calling for investment in better lighting, CCTV and improved signage, he added.
Stirling Council public safety convenor Maureen Bennison said, “We take any instances of anti-social behaviour in Stirling very seriously. We are open to discussing these issues with Mercat and City Centre community councillors and will be working with the local community, as well as our colleagues in Police Scotland, to address any issues raised.”
Go to our website, www. stirlingobserver.co.uk to view film.
Snorting Suspected drug use in Sma’ Vennel. Left, men share substances in an exchange which was caught on camera