THERE are fewer problems in Lochgelly Public Park but new anti-social behaviour 'hotspots' have emerged in Cowdenbeath and Glencraig.

Police officers gave councillors an update on their activities from April 2022 to March 2023 and said they focused their patrols in these areas to try and prevent trouble.

A report to the Cowdenbeath area committee said there had been a "significant rise" in anti-social behaviour around Cowdenbeath High Street and in Glencraig, with youths stealing and setting fire to wheelie bins, while there were complaints about off-road motor bikes in Kelty and Cardenden.

Cllr Lea McLellend said: "Since they knocked down the majority of the buildings at the football park in Glencraig, touch wood, thankfully there has been no trouble down there at all."

The report by Chief Inspector Kathryn Fairfield, the local area commander for West Fife, said the the development of e-bikes presented an additional challenge as they are "relatively silent and most commonly black in colour with no distinguishing marks, placing pedestrians and riders at unnecessary risk".

She said this type of anti-social behaviour was difficult to detect.

Cllr Rosemary Liewald told the officers: "I'm glad to say the anti-social behaviour with off-road bikes and dirt bikes seems to be definitely calming down.

"Your engagement and interaction with those you have identified seems to be working, long may it continue."

At the meeting Cllr Alie Bain asked local officers: "Anti-social behaviour, is it increasing? Are we able to do anything more to stop it?

"I know PC Sneddon had put a lot of work into the Coo Trail in particular and to have it destroyed very quickly afterwards was very disappointing."

PC Louise Sneddon had, with help from Beath High kids, the Woodend Community Woodland group and local funding, created the Coo Trail initiative.

New signs on the redeveloped woodland trail led to a cleared area where large wooden cows, designed and made at Beath with feeder schools invited to decorate them, were installed.

Several of the cows were interactive, encouraging young children and families to visit, and there were cowbells along the trail.

However not long after it opened in June last year a number of youths were charged after the area was trashed and nine of the cows vandalised.

Community sergeant John Nicol said: "It was a local initiative and a lot of work had been done by the feeder schools and Beath High.

"Substantial damage was done to the trail, which was very disappointing.

"We'll work with the school after the summer holidays to see if we can re-instal elements of it, it probably won't take the same interactive shape it once did, but we're keen to still work with young people and continue with such initiatives to put back to the community."

The committee was told that it wasn't possible to say if incidents of anti-social behaviour had increased as the statistics were not available.

The chief inspector's report said there had been "several serious violent incidents" across the committee area which had been investigated and resulted in "several key offenders being remanded in custody".

Fife Council leader David Ross has previously expressed concern about an increase in violence in schools and as a result local police officers have been speaking to pupils at Beath and Lochgelly high schools.

Ch Insp Fairfield said: "The ‘One Punch’ programme highlights the consequences of violence in a community setting and ‘The Bystander’ teaches coping mechanisms and encourages children to take positive action in potential violent or bullying incidents."

She said the sessions were "well received" and added that P7 pupils from Beath's feeder schools were given talks that highlighted the "issues around gender based violence".