Stone-throwing yobs launch seven attacks every day: Children as young as 11 hurling debris at vehicles and homes

STONE-throwing youths, some as young as 11, are behind seven attacks a day on cars, buses and homes in the Lothians.

The youngsters are behind a spate of incidents in the area during the Easter holidays, said Lothian and Borders Police.

Officers said they had seen a significant increase in incidents of home and vehicle windows being damaged, with an average of almost seven incidents per day recorded this month.

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Most of the incidents have happened around the Knightsridge and Deans areas of Livingston, as well as the Loch Maree Way area in Whitburn.

Police, Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service and West Lothian Council have now joined forces to tackle the problem.

James Anderson, 65, and his wife Liza Betty, 62, who live on Loch Maree Way, had their hall window smashed.

Mr Anderson, a grandfather-of-four, said: "I ran outside but nobody was there. I don't know what they used to smash it.

"It's quite a problem and it seems to be getting worse. Anything could happen if someone is in the house at the time, somebody could get glass in their eyes."

A number of First buses have been targeted in the attacks, and police officers will now travel on bus services in the area in an attempt to deter the culprits and help reassure passengers.

Community constable for Whitburn Jason Beck said: "The danger element of it is if you're flinging stones through windows, kids don't often think of the consequences of what can happen.

"What if a wee kid is on the other side of the window? That's the danger. The potential is there for injuries."

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Inspector Stephen Elliot from the police's safer communities department said the children involved, who are between 11 and 16 years old, were targeting all types of parked and moving transport, including large lorries.

The crackdown is part of a partnership initiative launched in West Lothian last Thursday to tackle issues such as alcohol-related disorder, fire-raising, vandalism and fly-tipping.

West Lothian Council's neighbourhood environmental teams are also tackling the stone throwers by removing discarded building materials, from public areas.

A spokeswoman for First said the company had been subjected to "high levels of vandalism" in West Lothian.

She said: "Vandalism of our vehicles whilst in service is very serious as it puts passenger and staff safety at risk."