DUNBAR’S community police officer has been speaking to young people in the town in a bid to tackle a recent spate of underage drinking and anti-social behaviour.

At least one arrest was made for an alleged assault at the annual end-of-exams party at Bullet Hill in John Muir Country Park recently.

More than 200 teenagers – not just from Dunbar but all over East Lothian and beyond – attended the gathering, with police called out, and at least one youngster having to be taken home by concerned parents due to her condition.

The youngster, who was not from Dunbar, had been left by friends between two fences when she was in such an intoxicated state that she could not stand.

The incident at Bullet Hill was not a one-off, though, with police again called out to Winterfield Park the following weekend following further disorder.

Dunbar and East Linton Community Police Officer Gavin Ross is aiming to get the message out to both the youths and parents that the behaviour will not be tolerated. He was among the police presence at Bullet Hill, to the west of the town.

The officer said: “Two weekends ago, Friday night was reasonably quiet from a youth disorder point of view but the Saturday night was the Bullet Hill exam leavers party.

“This year, it did not go well. It was a bit of a disaster.

“A number of youths there were intoxicated to an extreme extent, to a very concerning extent.

“Some people might have seen information online about the family who were at the play park there and saw a girl very drunk in a small strip of woodland. It is 100 per cent true – she is lucky these decent people were there.”

Officers tried to cut off the teenagers on their way to the meeting spot and make them pour away any alcohol they were carrying.

Enquiries are also under way to try to discover where the youngsters were getting alcohol from. Some parents driving their alcohol-laden children to John Muir Country Park for the exams party is also a long-standing problem.

The officer added: “We were there intercepting kids constantly and we would get to them and make them pour away alcohol.

“We would go elsewhere to intercept another group and we thought we were on top of it but mid-evening we went down to Bullet Hill and there were a couple of hundred youths there.

“It was a huge volume, a lot were drunk, a couple far too drunk.”

The officer told members there was also fighting, which saw him have to get his police baton out to bring things under control.

Police riding quadbikes shone headlights into the surrounding woodlands when breaking up the party.

The officer visited Dunbar Grammar School last Friday morning to talk to pupils about youth-related anti-social behaviour during a school assembly.

PC Ross said: “I’m not there to punish youths or to be a party pooper. I’m there to keep them safe. They may not appreciate that but I will try to get that message across.”

Now, a Problem Solving Partnership (PSP) is set to be relaunched in a bid to tackle the issue. That would see police working alongside other agencies, including East Lothian Council.

The police officer said: “There is a huge amount of partnership working. I think education is the main thing and getting the message across to the young people as to how dangerous this is.

“The interesting thing is there were a lot of kids at Bullet Hill and the vast majority are nice kids who had nothing to drink and they were horrified by what they saw.

“To the kids drinking, it is becoming habit-forming and it is about how we break that.”