Action over drinkers in graveyard

Action is to be taken to tackle anti-social behaviour in a graveyard in Perth which is popular with tourists.

Normally a quiet haven near the city centre, Greyfriars burial ground which has a collection of gravestones regarded as among the best in Scotland has been attracting groups of drunks.

“I think it is a very poor advertisement for Perth,” said city resident Bob Syme, 66.

“It is a very interesting corner of Perth but tourists need to feel safe.

“I was in the graveyard during the recent good weather and found a group of people drinking.

“They were clearly drunk and I found their presence intimidating and I am sure any visitors would have beat a hasty retreat when they saw them.”

A council spokesperson said the local authority took allegations of anti-social behaviour very seriously, and continued: “There have been problems reported here in the past, which have been dealt with.

“If they are recurring now, we will deal with them.

“The council has recently funded two dedicated community wardens to work in the city centre.

“They have identified a number of hotspots and work very closely with the police to monitor them and move people on who are causing an annoyance.

“Together with the police, we will establish what is happening at the cemetery and take steps to resolve the situation.”

A police spokesperson said: “Police Scotland is aware of the matter and is committed to reducing anti-social behaviour and disorder in our communities in order to help keep people safe.

“Anti-social behaviour is always taken seriously and we are acutely aware of the upset that this form of behaviour can have within a community.

“We have high-visibility patrols operating in the area and anyone with any concerns should contact Police Scotland on 101.”

Greyfriars is bounded by Canal Street, Tay Street and Princes Street.

It was established as a burial ground in 1580, when the graveyard at St John’s Kirk ran out of space.