Thugs stone Linlithgow bin lorries

14.7.09 EN Edinburgh's bins. Wheelie bins across Edinburgh remain unemptied on the Glasgow Road and surrounding areas.  Pic Neil Hanna
14.7.09 EN Edinburgh's bins. Wheelie bins across Edinburgh remain unemptied on the Glasgow Road and surrounding areas. Pic Neil Hanna

FURIOUS residents are worried that stone-throwing thugs could be putting their bin service under threat.

The police sent out a letter saying services in Preston Road, Preston Terrace and Preston Avenue could be withdrawn as bin staff risked being hurt or killed.

This week West Lothian Council and the police joined forces to appeal for information following the attacks which have taken place since January.

One resident contacted the Journal and Gazette after the letter and said: ‘‘‘I am not happy, my first reaction was ‘they can’t do that’ and I am sure many residents will feel the same.

‘‘I do understand that something has to be done to resolve the problem but it feels like we are all being treated like criminals the way the letter is worded.’’

However, it is not thought West Lothian Council are considering halting the service at this stage.

But bin lorry staff have been issued with hard hats and safety goggles for their run in the Preston area.

After being approached by the Journal and Gazette for a comment, West Lothian Council and Lothian and Border Poklice clarified the situation and released an official statement which included an appeal to the public in the area to help identify the perpetrators.

The statement revealed that council refuse lorries have been hit by stones, slate and pieces of metal on five different occasions since the end of January, while collecting bins in the Preston Road, Preston Avenue and Preston Terrace area of the town.

On one visit to the area, the vehicle and crew were targeted three times in quick succession.

Other council vehicles are among those that have also been targeted in similar attacks.

Local residents could hold vital information on those involved in these irresponsible acts of vandalism and are being asked to come forward if they know anything that might help trace those involved.

A West Lothian Council spokesman said: “We would like to appeal for anyone with information on these cowardly attacks on council vehicles and workers in Linlithgow to come forward.

“It’s completely unacceptable for any worker to be subjected to this kind of treatment while simply trying to do their job.

“The staff and vehicles concerned were trying to carry out essential public services on behalf of local residents and should be allowed to do so without facing this kind of treatment.”

A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman added: “We are actively investigating these attacks and would urge anyone with information to come forward.

“Throwing objects at vehicles like this is a criminal offence, and could potentially be very dangerous, as it could smash a windscreen and cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle.

“Anyone with information on any of these incidents should contact Linlithgow Police station, call 0131 311 3131 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

nWhat’s your view? Should bin services be halted until the culprits are caught, or what other measures are needed? Write to us at 114 High Street, Linlithgow EH49 7AQ or email editorial@journalandgazette.co.uk