Police are launching a crackdown on boozed-up teens who are spreading misery in Barrhead and other towns and villages across East Renfrewshire.

There have been concerns over the growing number of incidents of disorder and vandalism linked to underage drinking since the end of Covid lockdowns.

Now local officers have set up a Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) in East Renfrewshire to tackle the problem.

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Large groups of children, including some as young as 12, have been gathering outside the Barrhead Foundry and the nearby Asda store at night and this has led to acts of vandalism, stone-throwing and other anti-social behaviour.

There have been fights between gang members, windows have been smashed and security staff have been confronted by the yobs.

The new partnership involves the police, East Renfrewshire Council, schools, retailers, healthcare providers and community groups and aims to reduce alcohol-related harm to young people and improve the quality of life for local residents.

It will include providing various activities to help youngsters avoid the boredom that can lead to anti-social behaviour.

Police also believe the partnership will mean local children are better informed about the harm that alcohol can cause.

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Inspector Michelle Grant told the Barrhead News: “As a first step, we will be gathering some information from young people and retailers in the area using surveys that will be carried out online and in person.

“We would also like to gather information from residents of East Renfrewshire about the impact that underage drinking has on them.

“I would encourage local people to complete the survey, as it’s important we hear their views about what we should be doing.”

Away from Barrhead town centre, anti-social behaviour has previously been an issue at Fereneze Golf Club, where a large group of youths gathered and set fire to bushes. A lifebelt was also stolen.

Previous efforts by police to tackle underage drinking led to more than 100 litres of alcohol being seized during a weekend crackdown in Clarkston, near Williamwood High School.

Youngsters are said to have travelled to East Renfrewshire from Glasgow by train to cause trouble away from their own neighbourhood.

There are fears the level of anti-social behaviour could increase over the summer months, while schools are on holiday.

Anyone who would like to give their views on the impact that alcohol-related disorder involving teenagers is having on local communities can do so online at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/29NY7RY