KIDS as young as FIVE are creating havoc and spreading terror in an area of Dunfermline, according to a group of residents.

Householders near St Lawrence Street and Blake Street say they are subjected to stones being thrown at windows regularly as well as verbal abuse from rowdy youths.

Thomas Murphy, who lives in St Lawrence Street, has contacted Dunfermline MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville, local councillors and Police Scotland in his attempt to quell the growing problems.

He has just spent thousands of pounds on improvement work on his home but his brand new windows were targeted within hours of being put in.

“It is horrendous,” he said. “Since July 2019, a gang of youths have been causing havoc and spreading terror. It went on through the summer holidays. It then died down but then kicked off again when Woodmill was burned down. I have been here for 10 years and have never had any problems until this year.

“The age group are from five to 16 or 17. The older ones seem to be getting the younger ones to do it. Police Scotland seem to be pretty much useless in combating the problem.”

Neighbour Nicola Welsby had her window smashed in July.

“The night before it happened they were in my garden and I told them to get out,” she said. “They were trying to hide from other residents that were chasing them. Because I told them to get out of my garden, they stood outside my door shouting and saying terrible things to me and what is when I got my window smashed in.

"They told me they could do whatever they wanted. There are maybe 10 houses that have had their windows smashed and that is thousands of pounds worth of damage.

“I feel like they are untouchable. All the residents are phoning the police constantly.”

A pensioner, who didn’t want to be named in case of reprisals, said she had had stones thrown at her window.

“None of them broke so we have been quite fortunate,” she said. “A few of the houses round about have all had windows broken. It is a nightmare. It used to be so quiet.

“We have even thought of putting CCTV in but why should we have to go to the expense?

“The kids come flying along on their bikes. They have no respect for anyone and some of them are so small.”

One Blake Street resident had her window smashed while she was on holiday.

“There have been eggs thrown, stones thrown,” she said. “My window was smashed so I lost my £200 for the excess and had to get a complete new unit and it was hundreds.

“It is frightening. Especially when you are on your own. The children are aged from five upwards – they should be in bed.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said they were aware of the incidents and concerns.

“We work hard to reduce anti-social behaviour in our local communities and this kind of behaviour is not acceptable,” added the spokesperson. “The community-based officers for this area are aware and we will be carrying out regular patrols to provide reassurance.

“Anyone who has any concerns or any information about anti-social behaviour should contact Police Scotland on 101.”

Dunfermline MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville called for the incidents to be treated with “the utmost seriousness”. She added: “I appreciate how concerned local residents will be about the anti-social behaviour which they have been experiencing.

“I’ve been engaging with Police Scotland regarding the steps that are being taken to address this issue. I’d encourage residents with concerns to contact my office so that I can ensure that they are informed of any further developments.”