NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Police vow over travelling people amid councillor wrangle

Police in Aberdeen have vowed to "take the appropriate action" if needed over the issue of travelling people.

Dozens of caravans recently arrived in the Seaton area of the city.

Labour councillor Willie Young wrote to Ch Supt Adrian Watson urging him not to become an "apologist for the Scottish government" by dismissing plans for a by-law to tackle illegal encampments.

Ch Supt Watson said criminality being committed by or to the traveller community would be dealt with.

He said: "I fully understand the complexity of this issue, which primarily sits with our valued partner Aberdeen City Council.

Travelling site in Seaton
There is disagreement over talk of a by-law

"Already this year we have taken a robust stance where it is needed, respecting that we of course have to work within the confines of the legislation.

"We will continue to regularly meet with other partner agencies in Aberdeen city on this particular issue and will respond to any community concerns."

'Operational matter'

Mr Young said setting up official halting sites was not enough.

He told BBC Scotland: "This is 88 caravans. The only solution that is going to work is a by-law. I would ask the SNP to support the by-law."

The SNP group leader Callum McCaig dismissed Mr Young's comments, and insisted a by-law was not the right answer.

A Scottish government spokesperson said: "The agreement of local policing plans is an operational matter for Police Scotland."

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