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Aberdeen residents anger over mess and late night disturbances at former AECC – Evening Express

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Fed-up residents have called in police over anti-social behaviour at the site of the former AECC.

One resident says young drivers are driving dangerously in the car park – and even urinating in her garden.

Anti-social behaviour has ramped up in the area since the most recent lockdown in Jan and has intensified in last few weeks with rubbish left strewn across the site.

Neighbours living around King Robert’s Way and Morrison’s Croft Crescent in Bridge of Don have been disturbed on numerous occasions by people gathering near the old Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre, which closed in 2019, and Holiday Inn Express, which closed last year.

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They say they have repeatedly heard shouting from the complex, as well as cars racing around at high speed blaring their horns, loud music and rubbish being left.

Late at night on Tuesday, residents were kept awake by a large disturbance of around 18 people gathered watching cars performing tricks in the car park. The smell of burning rubber carried across the estate, as did the noise of the car horns and revving engines.

The car park of the Holiday Inn Express, has been at the centre of the disruption for residents.

‘It’s become increasingly bad since lockdown lifted’

The evening continued with the youths drinking and playing loud music. One woman, who asked not to be named reported watching three men urinating in the bushes at the back of her garden wall.

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She said: “It’s been ongoing for a few years but since lockdown lifted last year it’s become increasingly bad, and the last few months of this year have been the worst with last night (Tuesday evening) being the absolute worst it’s ever been for the sheer number of cars, people and noise.

“I and other residents have repeatedly called 101 to report this however the police rarely send units or send units up to three hours later when the cars have all dispersed.”

Concerns over makeshift skate parks

Another resident has raised additional concerns about makeshift skate parks that have been constructed with items left from the demolition of the AECC, which was knocked down last year.

One of the makeshift skate parks where young people gather at night.

“There are two makeshift skate parks which have been cobbled together with bits of stuff they’ve found lying around,” she said.

“Planks of wood, old aircon units with their wires hanging out and filing cabinets – all sorts of stuff. The whole place is a complete mess.

“That should be the building owner’s responsibility to sort out before it gets this bad.

“There has been graffiti and other vandalism in the area too and I think this is all linked.”

‘It’s totally unacceptable’

Currently it is not known who is responsible for the land formerly owned by the Holiday Inn Express.

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The hotel closed last year and was sold off in July. The new buyer currently remains unknown.

After bringing the issues up to local councillors and carrying out community council meetings with police, residents are at a loss as to how to resolve the situation.

Bridge of Don Councillor Alison Alphonse said: “It’s just awful, as far as I’m concerned it’s totally unacceptable.

“The noise, the tooting horns, the mess… they are being utterly selfish and their behaviour is out of hand.

“I think the police presence needs to be increased in the area to deter them.

“In recent weeks when residents have been calling the police, they have taken so long to arrive that the incidents are all but over.”

Councillor Alison Alphonse

‘Dedicated patrols are carried out in area’

Chief Inspector Jamie Harrison, local area commander for Police Scotland, said: “We are aware of recent issues in anti-social behaviour incidents involving young people in the Bridge of Don area recently and are acutely aware of the disruptive effect this can have on a community.

“Local officers are working closely with partners to address these issues and find meaningful solutions to direct our young people away from this mindless activity.

“Dedicated patrols are carried out in the area, with officers providing reassurance to the community as well as engaging with young people and discouraging antisocial behaviour.

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“It is worth stressing that the vast majority of young people do not come to the attention of police but we know that a small minority do sometimes become involved in anti-social behaviour and their actions can have a negative impact on the lives of local residents

“We are committed to encouraging people away from this kind of behaviour but will take appropriate action where incidents are reported and offenders identified.

“I would also urge parents and guardians to make sure that they know where their children are, who they are associating with and what they are doing.

“Anyone who has concerns about anti-social behaviour in their area is encouraged to contact police by calling 101 as promptly as possible.”

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