People feel intimidated by crowd outside court

MEMBERS of the Arbroath Town Regeneration Group have called on Angus Council to remove the benches situated outside the burgh’s Sheriff Court as part of a bid to deter people not required to be at the court from hanging around outside the building and causing a nuisance to passers-by.

The Regeneration Group, a sub group of the Arbroath & Area Partnership, includes the town’s eight councillors who regularly receive complaints from residents who feel intimidated or too frightened to pass the throngs of people sitting on the benches or standing about on the pavement outside the court.

One member, Arbroath East Ward Councillor, Donald Morrison, said: “When the Post Office moved from the Abbeygate to the newsagents next door to the court, concerns were raised directly with the Post Office then about the crowds of people, who didn’t need to be there, lingering outside the building on the pavement and benches.

“Councillors were assured by the court that action would be taken to move these crowds along but the problem still persists.

“I am shocked to hear from elderly residents that they feel frightened going to the town’s main Post Office because they have to go through groups of 20 or more.

“By removing the benches, which are now in a very poor condition, the Regeneration Group has suggested to the council that this might at least deter some people from hanging about and causing a nuisance.”

Councillor Morrison concluded: “Members of the regeneration group will also continue to press the Scottish Court Service, Tayside Police and the Angus Council for a direct concerted effort to deter crowds of people from congregating outside the court and allow pedestrians to walk past the building without the feeling of dread or intimidation.”