A SMALL boy responsible for a crime wave in Shetland has been removed from the islands to a secure school in Scotland.
The boy, who is no older than 14, has been linked with the near-trebling of the vandalism rate in Lerwick recently before he was sent away last month.
Under Scots Law his identity cannot be revealed despite obvious interest in the community about the ringleader of a growing gang of children who caused many thousands of pounds worth of damage to people’s property.
It is understood he arrived in Shetland last year from England and lived at first in a country area of the Mainland before being moved to Lerwick. He rarely attended school and embarked on a trail of vandalism including smashing windows and attacking the paintwork of parked cars.
The police admit they had to dedicate officers to tracking the boy and his followers as they marauded around town.
An officer told Lerwick Community Council last week that vandalism in the town had risen in May to 87 cases, up from 31 in the same month last year with almost all the increase blamed on the boy.
This week chief inspector Malcolm Bell confirmed there had been a significant upturn in reported vandalism over the course of 2008 so far. As a result of police operations he said a number of children had been reported to the Children’s Reporter for over 40 vandalisms and other anti-social activities.
“This kind of behaviour is unusual for Shetland, thankfully,” he said, adding that it would not be tolerated.
“We’re able to apply significant resources to detecting these crimes and successfully reporting them to the Children’s Reporter.”
The reporter, Kate Gabb, declined to comment on the case yesterday.