PROBLEMS with the neighbours led to 128 investigations into 'private space' anti-social behaviour in South and West Fife.

The area includes Rosyth, Inverkeithing, Dalgety Bay and the West Fife villages and councillors were told it was an increase from 106 cases in 2020-21.

However, Michael Collins, the safer communities lead officer, explained that didn't necessarily mean there was more trouble.

He said: "The safer communities team have now taken all the anti-social behaviour cases, in their entirety, we are now the single point of contact.

"We've taken that away from housing services and, consequently, there's been an increase in the number of cases we've dealt with.

"However, we're hoping that, being a single point of contact, we'll be a more efficient service and people won't get put around the houses in terms of who to speak to and get the best advice.

"There was 128 anti-social behaviour cases reported in that year which is more than the previous year but that was anticipated due to the change in procedures."

The update on the safer communities activities in the South and West Fife area included a fall in the number of incidents of illegal dumping, from 476 in 2020-21 to 394 last year.

Committee convenor, Councillor David Barratt, asked: "Do you think that's a decrease in events of illegal dumping or is it a decrease in reporting of illegal dumping?

"You'll know better on the ground whether that's an actual reduction as there's a perception that illegal dumping has become much worse, particularly during the pandemic and the tips being closed as they were."

Mr Collins admitted that comparing the figures to the pandemic years "probably wasn't a fair reflection" and added: "A lot of the illegal dumping incidents recorded, believe it or not, are in relation to sites that are there for recycling.

"People, particularly when the bins are too full, just dump their stuff there anyway which, in some respects, I totally understand.

"Our point going forward is that, unless there's any evidence at all in relation to who's dumped that, in terms of names and addresses etc, it will just get picked up as quickly as possible."

His report to the South and West Fife area committee also said there were 190 reports of abandoned vehicles, 49 contaminated gardens, 46 reports of dog-fouling and 34 complaints about domestic noise last year.

The pest control officers responded to 344 requests for help, with 166 for wasps, 81 for rats, 39 for mice, 21 for ants and 13 for bees.

Nine stray dogs were reported to dog wardens, five were microchipped but only one had the correct details for their owner.