THERE'S been another weekend of trouble in Lochgelly Public Park with vandalism, littering and fireraising in the woods.

Police posted photos showing piles of rubbish, including empty bottles and cans of alcohol, small trees snapped and broken and a bin which had been set alight.

Inspector Steven Hoggan, who has just taken charge of the Cowdenbeath area, said: “We are aware of ongoing issues of anti-social behaviour at the public park in Lochgelly, including incidents of fire raising at the weekend.

“We know that anti-social behaviour has a disruptive effect on local communities and officers are continuing to conduct dedicated patrols in the area. We are also working closely with partners to address issues raised.

“I would urge anyone with concerns about anti-social behaviour in their area to contact Police Scotland via 101 as promptly as possible. We use all information we receive to inform enforcement activity and our patrols.”

There's been a spate of incidents in Lochgelly and earlier this month the Co-op banned under-16s from the store in the town "due to the recent volume of anti-social behaviour, shoplifting and general abuse towards management and staff".

The Co-op later reversed the ban.

In November last year, the Times reported that a local resident started a petition calling for the youth shelter, which he described as a "drinking den", to be removed from the public park.

Paul McGowan wrote: "For over five years this shelter has been the hub for a continuous stream of anti-social behaviour leading to noise, vandalism, fires, widespread litter and broken bottles instigated by drunken teenage youths from Lochgelly and nearby towns."

However another petition, started by Josh Salmon, said that would "not be the right decision" as it was a place for youngsters to socialise..

He had added: "There is a small minority of people that will set fires and graffiti and we would love for that not to happen and we try, but there is only so much we can do at such a young age."

Rehearsals for Oliver! at Lochgelly Centre in October were disrupted by troublemakers which prompted a police investigation, and last April last year Cllr Darren Watt said more police patrols "appears to have done nothing" to stop the "ongoing anti-social behaviour and vandalism" in the town.

The previous month there were reports of youths causing issues at Melville Street, with a number of deliberate fires.

Fife Council community manager, Sarah Roxburgh, told the Times this week: "We are aware of local concerns about anti-social behaviour in the park and we're working with councillors and partners including the police and fire service to encourage more responsible behaviour from young people using the park.

"We had a meeting recently to discuss a range of options including improvements to lighting and pathways and increased patrols in the area.

"We will always welcome local views and opinions and, are keen to work with the local community, to improve the situation."

Safer communities manager Kirstie Freeman added: "We want to make sure our public spaces can be enjoyed responsibly by everyone in the local community. Our safer communities officers continue to carry out regular patrols in the area, and along with our youth justice officer and other local partners will regularly engage with young people at the park to encourage and promote responsible behaviour.

"We will continue to work with our local partners to identify those responsible for causing damage to our parks, and will take action to deal with this behaviour wherever we can."