Police to hold talks with Petrofac and Total after town centre complaints

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Police will hold talks with Petrofac and Total after complaints of drunken and disruptive behaviour in Lerwick on Thursday. 
 
A range of incidents were reported to police, after about 2,000 men working on the Total gas plant construction site at Sullom Voe, took the day off after the death of a colleague at the site the day before.
 
Shetland chief inspector Eddie Graham, said the number of calls on Thursday relating to anti-social behaviour “was a significant increase on the norm” and the calls were received between 5.30pm and 9pm.
 
Disorder in licensed premises, food establishments and a complaint about a man acting disorderly in a local shop were reported, he said.
 
There were also complaints about drunken men “wandering about the roadway,making a nuisance of themselves,” he added.
 
Mr Graham said the police had been informed by Petrofac that workers would not be going into work on Thursday and there would be a significant number of people in and around licensed premises.
 
This was following the death of 53-year-old Petrofac subcontractor Neil McLaughlin, from Cheshire, who died at the Sella Ness accommodation block on Wednesday.
 
Following the site closure, extra police patrols were put in place in Lerwick and Brae on Thursday.
 
In Lerwick officers warned people and moved them on, said Mr Graham. However, he added there were no arrests and no reports of criminality “other than minor disorder”. 
 
Yasmin Rasul, owner of the Harbour Fish and Chip Shop said there were men drunk at 11am, and with the circumstances of the day off, she thought it was “very disrespectful” and the men “should be shamed”. 
 
She said she did not have any trouble, but added: “It’s not giving the place a good name is it?”.
 
The Lounge closed its doors early at 11pm on Thursday because of disorder, and a Lerwick publican, who did not wish to be named, said the police were called out three times because of problems. 
 
He said names had been passed on to the police and the security manager of the barges, where construction workers are staying. It was small number of workers causing problems, he said.
 
“It started to kick off but we cut them off straight and when they started to refuse to leave and started to be threatening we called the police.” 
 
However, the Douglas Arms and the Lerwick legion said they did not really have any problems on Thursday.
 
Mr Graham said talks are to be held “soon” – to look at what had happened on the day and what needs to be done on the back of Thursday’s complaints.
 
Anti-social behaviour would not be tolerated by the police, he added.
 
“If anyone does misbehave they are going to get themselves locked up.”
 
He encouraged anyone who did see anything on Thursday to contact the police through 101.
 
George Maconnachie, Petrofac site manger in Shetland, apologised on local radio for the men’s behaviour and was particularly disappointed, given the reason for the day off.

He said the company had a strict code of conduct as regards to alcohol and asked for people to come forward with names of individuals.

He said he would personally make sure that those who had broken the code of conduct would lose their jobs.

Mr Maconnachie added the construction company had more than 2,000 people on the island and usually these acts are caused by the small minority.

About Adam Guest

Reporter for The Shetland Times. I have also worked as a senior news reporter at The Barnsley Chronicle and as a freelance reporter for The Doncaster Free Press. Alongside news reporting I specialise in music and sports journalism. Pork pie lover.

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2 comments

  1. Gafyn Reynolds

    This has been going on for too long now. About time it was sorted out.

    Reply
  2. Alan Austin

    Will always get this sort of behaviour on large construction sites but it is only a small minority as most men are family men there to make money not cause trouble.i worked at Nigg Bay in the 1970 s

    Reply

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