A GANG of five men have been banned from entering East Lothian amid claims they targeted vulnerable local residents during a campaign of terror.

The men, who were identified as being part of an English-based “Serious and Organised Group”, are alleged to have set up a base in the county.

It is alleged all five members of the gang were involved in targeting vulnerable local residents as well as being linked to drug dealing, intimidation and acts of violence over a number of months.

A report on anti-social behaviour has revealed East Lothian Council successfully applied for court orders banning all five of the men from setting foot in the county again.

The report, which was presented to the Police, Fire and Community Safety Scrutiny Committee meeting in Haddington, revealed that there were more than 600 complaints of anti-social behaviour in East Lothian between October and March, with nearly a third of them occurring in Musselburgh – the largest town in the county.

Out of those complaints, 269 were noise-related and 114 involved young people.

A report that went before East Lothian Council this week revealed that 187 of 606 complaints received over the period of time came from Musselburgh.

Other towns in the county saw fewer, with 103 from Tranent, 104 from Dunbar, 74 from Prestonpans, 91 from Haddington and 47 from North Berwick.

Since last October, the council had used its multi-agency Problem Solving Partnerships to deal with three areas identified as having acute problems.

They involved youth-related problems in an area of Dunbar, property-related anti-social behaviour affecting residents in a street in Musselburgh and problems with daytime anti-social behaviour on Haddington High Street.

In the first two cases, the report revealed that a mixture of high-visibility police patrols, engagement with parents and schools, as well as improved street lighting had dealt with the problems.

In the case of Haddington High Street, it was reported that the local business community were “instrumental” in contributing to efforts to reduce the issues.

The report said: “Although the causes of both group-related and individual anti-social behaviour cases can be complex, and the application of an effective solution cannot always be delivered in the instant, the fact that Police Scotland, the council and their partners in East Lothian are working together maximised the chances of securing a long-term and sustainable solution in the vast majority of reported cases.”