SCENES of teenagers urinating on a war memorial while gangs ran riot in Dunfermline town centre has prompted calls for action.
Three boys were found laughing as they urinated on poppy wreaths and smashed bottles, according to resident David Scott, of Skibo Court.
The former soldier followed them to the memorial in Monastery Street after he found a larger group of youths jumping on his car – now written off due to the damage.
Sickened by what he saw, he has written to high-profile politicians to address the problem.
He told the Press: “They were very loud and steaming drunk, I was completely disgusted by what I saw.
“When the police came to speak to me it was very clear that they are under pressure and are in desperate need of more resources.
"I do not have kids but police are essentially being used as babysitters. The kids and their parents should be charged, along with curfews, tagging and social services input.
“I have written to Deputy Minister John Swinney and Alex Salmond because someone has got to take this seriously.”
The incident took place at 6pm last Friday evening. Police say they charged a total of 29 people over the weekend for a range of offences and are following a positive line of enquiry regarding the war memorial vandalism.
They are again putting pressure on parents to take responsibility for their child’s whereabouts.
Inspector Ian Flynn, of Dunfermline Police Station, said: “Friday and Saturday were particularly busy nights for us, with a pre-planned operation to tackle anti-social behaviour in the area.
“I’d appeal to parents to ensure that they’re aware of where their child is and what they’re doing when they’re out of the house on an evening, as a similar operation will be running again this coming weekend.
“I also want to remind everyone that buying alcohol for anyone under the age of of 18 is illegal and that they are risking a criminal record by doing so.
"Furthermore, the legal age limit exists for a reason and by consuming alcohol underage these young people are at a greater risk of harm.”
Police have been tackling anti-social behaviour, particularly around Tesco in the town centre and the bus station, since the start of the year.
Large groups of youths, some as young as 12, have been co-ordinating the meet-ups on social media. More than 100 letters have been sent to parents of offending youths but police have been disappointed by the lack of response.
Dunfermline Central Councillor Neale Hanvey said: “I’m absolutely disgusted.
"To do that to people who have given their lives for their country is upsetting. I don’t know if it’s just something to do or they think they’re clever but this disorder seems to be escalating.
“Folk need to have a conversation with their kids to find out who it was because if they get away with that behaviour, what’s next?
"I would like to see a taskforce put in place because this a real challenge that needs an answer. Schools definitely have a role to play in this too.”
Douglas Chapman MP called for the “full force of the law” to be brought on the offenders and said that their parents should be “extremely embarrassed” by their kids’ actions.
Shirley-Anne Somerville, MSP for Dunfermline, said: “I’m determined that we make progress on this.
“I have asked to meet with Chief Inspector Irene Ralston as a matter of urgency. I’m very supportive of the action that the police have taken so far, through Operation Caber, and I know that they are working around the clock to tackle anti-social behaviour.”
A spokesperson for Legion Scotland said: “While this does not appear to have necessarily been targeted at a war memorial when one considers all of the other devastation that was caused, this disgusting act is disrespectful to the memories of those who have fought and died for our country, and we hope that the culprits are identified and brought to justice promptly.”