Grand Theft Auto V: Hawick fury at game inclusion

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SCOTS computer game makers have caused fury in the quiet community of Hawick - by using the town’s name in Grand Theft Auto V.

The smash hit video game features sex, drugs and violence in the fictional US megatropolis of Los Santos, a thinly-disguised version of Los Angeles.

A councillor in Hawick has called the inclusion of the town in Grand Theft Auto V 'disgusting'. Picture: Getty

A councillor in Hawick has called the inclusion of the town in Grand Theft Auto V 'disgusting'. Picture: Getty

Game makers Rockstar North have called one of the city’s “druggie hipster” districts Hawick after the relatively peaceful mill town of 15,000 people about 40 miles south of their Edinburgh HQ.

One Hawick councillor today branded the use of the town’s name in GTA V as “disgusting”.

Rockstar North are known for slyly working Scottish references into the GTA franchise and the latest version also features a Saltire flying proudly over the fictional, sun-kissed beach community of Vespucci beach.

It has already been revealed that the stock exchange referred to in the game goes by the colourful name BAWSAQ.

Hawick city centre. Picture: Stuart Cobley

Hawick city centre. Picture: Stuart Cobley

Hawick is located in the north east area of Los Santos in the in-game map.

The real town is not known as a crime hotspot, with local police currently most concerned about moped use by youngsters.

But in GTA V, the wide streets of Hawick are the scene of gun battles and high-speed car chases, with prostitution and drug-dealing also a common occurence.

The Rockstar website says the Los Santos version of Hawick has “a disaffected drug addict hipster vibe.”

But Hawick councillor David Paterson said he was “horrified” that Rockstar North would put Hawick into such a violent game.

Mr Paterson said: “I am horrified that they have put Hawick in a game like that.

“Hawick is a lovely place and to see them do that is ridiculous. I’m totally disgusted.

“I’ve never even seen a gun in my life.”

But Joanne Maybury, 49, a remedial massage therapist from Hawick was more laid back.

She said: “It’s a fairly quiet, ‘doesn’t rock the boat’ kind of town.

“It’s a shame if people thought of it like that but will anyone take it seriously?

“I guess there are druggies and hipsters here but it’s not what would characterise Hawick for me.”

The game also features a barber’s called “Hair on Hawick” where players can change their characters’ haircuts between dozens of different styles.

The town is most famous for its Common Riding festival, which dates back hundreds of years and involves groups of horse riders parading through the streets.

The riding caused nationwide controversy in 1996 when a group of women successfully challenged in court the ban on females taking part.


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