Comment: Working together to tackle the yobs

News that benches have been removed from an Edinburgh park purely to stop unruly youths congregating is as worrying as it is sad.

That a gang of youngsters can be so out of control that the only way to fight back is to deprive a community of valuable amenities just isn’t fair.

We don’t blame the council for taking this action as a last resort, and we hope it proves to be a temporary move.

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There is no doubt about who is to responsible for the situation in Saughton Mains at the moment and that’s the group of teenagers who feel they have nothing better to do than make the lives of others a misery. Authorities often face a difficult balancing act when dealing with youth offending and their powers can be limited. A slap on the wrists or a ‘badge of honour’ Asbo can also be counter-productive.

It’s a cliche, but the intervention must come much sooner and that lies with supporting the parents, many of whom may be feeling just as helpless as the residents. No-one wants their child to grow-up to become someone who terrorises streets to the extent that local residents are ‘scared to go outside’. Agencies have to work together to address this behaviour before it starts.