Some local businesses at ‘end of chain’ over Harrison Square mess and noise

SOME businesses in the center of Lerwick are at the “end of their chain” due to the noise and clutter created in Harrison Square a meeting has heard.

Living Lerwick’s chairman, Steve Mathieson, said the situation has made some employees in the area say they no longer want to work there.

But at Monday’s Lerwick Community Council meeting, one member said “involvement, involvement and preventive work” is the best way to tackle antisocial behaviour.

Stewart Hay, who lives in Lerwick Avenues, said he didn’t want groups to be “objects of criticism”.

A multi-agency group has now been set up amid concerns about antisocial behavior in the square, from the council and Living Lerwick to pubs and the city’s harbor authority.

A meeting of the Shetland Community Safety and Resilience Board last week highlighted how younger people gather there during the day before adults flock there late at night on weekends when in town.

The case was rebroadcast at Monday’s Lerwick Community Council meeting.

Speaking on behalf of the city center business organization Living Lerwick, Mathieson said complaints from the group’s members relate to during working hours.

“It’s the nuisance factor, it’s the noise factor,” he said.

He added that a major complaint is the amount of food being thrown across the square, which sits next to a fish and chip shop.

“It’s approachable stuff, but it’s the ongoing nuisance,” Mathieson said.

Hay, a former teacher, spoke out about the importance of interacting with the people in the square and said he was concerned about purely “reacting” to the situation.

“Involvement, involvement, preventive work in a supportive way would be so important and that’s how they grow up to be responsible citizens,” he said.

The meeting heard that police officers on patrol do try to talk to people in the square, and said the “vast majority” are not causing any problems.

Officers also continue to try to get the message across that drinking in public is not allowed under the Lerwick Ordinance.

Police have also visited most of the seniors at Anderson High School to discuss behavior.

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