A GALASHIELS councillor is calling for bobbies on the beat to curb the escalating problems of anti social youths in town centres.

Anti social behaviour incidents involving youths is up by a quarter from last year.

And the number of youngsters being monitored for their behaviour has increased by even more.

As revealed in last week's Border Telegraph, Police Scotland are writing to the parents of schoolchildren in Galashiels in a bid to stamp out the vandalism and rowdiness.

And Chief Superintendent Ivor Marshall has also vowed that his officers will continue to target two of the anti-social blackspots - the Galashiels Transport Interchange and the Howegate in Hawick.

But councillor Sandy Aitchison, who is responsible for education at the local authority, believes patrolling policemen is the answer. He said: "In my day we were all frightened of the bobby coming round the corner and catching you.

"You don't see the bobby any more - youths know the bobby won't be coming round the corner to catch them. They don't have the same fear of getting caught that previous generations did."

Figures show a 25 per cent rise from last year in the number of youth related anti social incidents recorded by the police.

From April to the end of December in 2015 there were 1185 incidents across the Borders - the figure for the same period in 2016 stands at 1484.

Chief Superintendent Marshall admits social changes have taken away some of the fear his officers once held.

But he is also confident that current strategies will reap results.

He said: "We engage with the public differently now... it is a different relationship.

"We are looking to engage better with young people and we also need to make the public aware that the majority of young people, even when they gather in groups, are doing nothing wrong.

"We know there are issues at the Galashiels Transport Interchange and also at the Howegate in Hawick but we have action plans in place.

"The solutions to the behaviour is by sitting round these tables and establishing action plans."

As well as a year-on-year hike in incidents of anti social behaviour concerning youths, it has also been revealed that the Safer Communities team at Scottish Borders Council are now monitoring 287 more young people than this time last year - and increase of almost 27 per cent.

During April to the end of December in 2016, 1366 youths were being monitored for their behaviour - up from 1079 the previous year.

A spokesman for the Safer Communities team said: "We are continuously looking at what other agencies do or what diversions can be implemented.

"It will be explored further this year through some bespoke training that will be delivered to the wider partnership."