‘We just want to live in peace’

The broken wall.
The broken wall.

residents in Drumoak looking for a quiet life are becoming increasingly frustrated and worried that a small minority of the youth in the village is consistently making their lives “a misery.”

At the Crathes, Drumoak and Durris Community Council last week, an angry resident raised a number of issues with the council and also the attending policeman about a group of youths who, he claimed, were a constant source of trouble in the area.

The resident, who declined to be identified in print, asked why several logged police incidents had occurred concerning the group of youngsters yet they never appeared in the reports given by Grampian Police officers at the community council meetings?

He added: ‘‘This behaviour has been going on “far too long”.

The resident said that the youth of the village was being tarred with the same brush because of a small minority, and stressed: “it’s not the youth of Drumoak, it’s certain youths of Drumoak.”

He listed a number of incidents involving the group in the small, quiet village and added that the local bowling club had to install CCTV and barbed wire after becoming a target for vandalism.

SMASHED

He then went on to explain one of the latest incidents, adding: “About three weeks ago, at 1.45am, I saw three youths on one motorcycle driving erratically up and down the street with not one helmet in sight.

“Later that night, a car was then taken from a Drumoak street, driven onto the North Deeside Road facing oncoming traffic, mounting the pavement and taking out a lamp post out before crossing the road and slamming into one of the huge boulders outside Park House, which was smashed into pieces along with part of the estate wall.

‘‘The car was then left as a burning wreck. Apparently some residents who heard the crash went to assist those inside the vehicle and were told - to put it politely - to go away.

“It’s been going on for years - despite us having made numerous complaints to Grampian Housing and the police.

“One neighbour had eggs thrown at his window, and another said their children had to come home from being out guising for Hallowe’en because they were getting things thrown at them.

“A Drumoak resident filmed this and showed it to Grampian Housing who, apparently, then tried to have the resident prosecuted for filming the people throwing eggs at him!”

He told the police officer at the meeting: “When these things happen, you are too far away and it takes too long to get here.

“People have a right to live in peace in their property and its just unacceptable. One of my neighbours has had to walk out of her own home and go and stay with her brother in Aberdeen because she can’t bear it - she’s terrified.”

“We come and live in these areas because we feel they’re safe? But would you want to move and bring your children here?

“Residents feel helpless, you’ve got to understand the frustration.”

Councillor Linda Clark said: “You could hardly blame anyone in Drumoak for feeling like this.”

The police officer in attendance, who is stationed at Portlethen, told the meeting: “We try to get out to Drumoak as often as we can, but staffing is a problem and the distance is so big that it could be later at night before we make it there.

‘‘It’s very difficult coming from Portlethen - if it was covered by Banchory it’d be a lot easier for officers to get to Drumoak in adequate time. It’s not a police decision, it’s to do with the council areas.”

Vice-chairman David Morris added: “Drumoak is a reasonably well contained area, there must be something that can be done, why is it so difficult to address?

‘‘We’ve now got burning cars, it’s an escalating problem, and something needs to be done.”

Community councillors agreed to take action and were told the issue would also be reported back to Grampian Police.