‘Arsonists gathered at golf club during lockdown’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 29, 2021 07:21

Police in Scotland have said teenage arsonists have been starting fires in the grounds of a golf club.

The unruly youths, including some believed to be as young as 14, have been gathering at Fereneze Golf Club at weekends to drink booze and play music, according to reports.

Some have also been setting fire to bushes and other foliage.

In one recent incident, a wooden bench on one of the fairways was badly damaged after it was set ablaze.

Patrols have been stepped up in a bid to stop the illegal gatherings, which sometimes feature more than 100 people.

Small fires have also been lit as the groups party on the 16th and second tees.

Bert Holt, club captain, said: “It’s very concerning for the members, as large groups are breaking Covid regulations.

“Our greenkeeping staff are facing health and safety risks, as they have to clear up the debris, as well as bottles and cans.

Fereneze Golf Club. Image from Facebook

“This is causing them and their families concern, as we don’t know if the people who have discarded this stuff have contracted the virus, which could then be passed on to our staff.

“The police have told me bottles have been thrown at them and it is out of control.

“They think they can get away with meeting on the golf course despite the regulations. Parts of the course are quite inaccessible to get caught.

“They are partying, playing music and just throwing their debris about.

“Flags and course furniture have been thrown away and the fire brigade have had to come onto the course after two or three fires were lit in the rough.

“With the lighter nights golfers will be out on the course, including ladies, so it is quite intimidating.

“We can understand why this is happening as the kids have nothing to do during this time. But they literally come from everywhere across the golf course like ants thanks to social media.”

Police are concerned that parents are dropping off their children at the course, not realising they are then going on to cause trouble.

Inspector Michelle Grant said: “This area has been experiencing general anti-social behaviour in the last weeks. We are particularly concerned by the incidents of fire-raising which are taking place.

“Our specialist motorcycle teams who were in the area were intercepting some parents dropping off their children to meet up with friends. I would urge them not to do that unless they are members or playing golf as per the current government guidelines.”

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 29, 2021 07:21
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1 Comment

  1. Peter March 29, 16:35

    With so many of these incidents in Great Britain and elsewhere in Europe, it just might be time for golf to re-invent itself !! From afar, it doesn’t seem, the industry has done a good job, “selling itself !” Levels of engagement, communication and awareness, likely need to be taken to much greater heights !! Community engagement, involvement and participation also elevated !! Organizations must put in the effort, time and commitment to building relationships !! Creating more friends, advocates and ambassadors, “champions for your cause” who help open doors, create opportunities and influence more people !! In hopes of avoiding more of this destructive behavior !!

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