POLICE have warned West Fife pupils that they will be charged if they blight Aberdour with trouble again when on study leave this summer.

Chief Inspector Michael Williamson, from Dunfermline Police Station, wrote to headteachers after unprecedented levels of anti-social behaviour around Silver Sands last May and asked for their support by giving pupils a stark warning.

The issue made Press headlines last year after locals described the area as a “war zone” with more than 250 youths descending on Aberdour.

Villagers reported cases of young people indecently exposing themselves, defecating in the street, breaking bus doors open and stealing alcohol from a local shop.

High schools have also contacted parents and guardians in the hope that the message will get through.

Chief Inspector Williamson said: “Last year, the month of May saw quite unprecedented levels of anti-social behaviour (and other offences) in the village of Aberdour and its surrounds.

“This was in its entirety perpetrated by young people aged 14-18, many of whom were absent from school on ‘study leave’.

“Disappointingly, this led to anti-social behaviour in the form of alcohol consumption leading to drunkenness, littering, urinating, defecating and criminality, in the form of fire-raising, theft by shoplifting, vandalism and fighting.

“As a result of this behaviour, we had several complaints from residents of the village, business owners, transport providers and visitors to the area, as well as the issue being raised by the local community council and elected members.

“We are once again on the cusp of the Easter holidays and annual ‘study leave’ period and Police Scotland are concerned that there should not be a repeat of the issues experienced in 2018.”

Police reported that, last year, several young people were inebriated to the point of requiring medical assistance, putting significant strain on Police Scotland, the Scottish Ambulance Service and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

Police say they have come up with a robust plan to combat any similar behaviour.

“We are at an advanced stage in terms of planning our response, which will be one of robust policing and a zero tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour and in particular, alcohol consumption,” Chief Inspector Williamson wrote.

“We have been working with our partners at Safer Communities (Fife Council), Stagecoach, British Transport Police, FFRS, and SAS, as well as members of the local community, and all are in support of this initiative.

“I would very much appreciate your (headteachers) support in raising this issue both with the young people at your school and also with parents/guardians.

“Doing so would be extremely helpful as the last thing we want is to criminalise young people, given the potential effect it can have on their future prospects.

“However, there should be no doubt that a repeat of last year will undoubtedly see young people charged with offences, such is the seriousness with which we view the matter.”