Echt & District Neighbourhood Watch: Antisocial behaviour
Why did they do it?
Around 10 years ago an oil company had donated funds for an unused piece of land (next to the Primary School belonging to the Education Dept.) to be landscaped for the benefit of the residents of Echt.
On this land was planted grass and shrub borders along with a wooden Gazebo. It was a lovely area to sit in on Summer Nights. However, it became apparent that young people were drinking and possibly also taking drugs there.
Many residents adopted the attitude that at least they knew where the young people were most evenings.
However, one night while drinking the young people set fire to the Gazebo and were chased away by a resident who put the fire out. It was at this point the coordinator thought about starting a watch.
What did they do?
The coordinator spoke to them on their level and soon had befriended them enough to get them to pick up the cans and paper they had strewn around. Meeting them again, the coordinator told them he would get them a teenage shelter if they could show him they had changed their ways. He got them their teenage shelter. After this there was no mess left and they didn't bother anybody again.
Did their activity need funding? If so where did it come from?
Funding was required for the youth centre and this came from Aberdeenshire Council.
The young people, future young people and local residents.
What has changed?
The young people will be men now and they have all moved on but the youth centre is there for future generations. Now everyone lives a quiet life and the coordinator likes to think that they have a more caring community as people are looking out for each other in a way that wasn’t the case when he came to the village.