Sep 23 2011 by Kaiya Marjoribanks, Stirling Observer Friday
Protest in Cowie
VILLAGERS in Cowie who held an open air vigil amid fears a convicted sex offender may be in their midst, have organised a public meeting to air their concerns.
As the Observer went to press, around 20 people had held a peaceful protest in the Hilton area on Wednesday evening, with dozens more expected to join another vigil on Thursday evening.
The vigil organisers have now arranged the public meeting, which is being held in Cowie Community Centre on Wednesday from 7-9pm.
Police and local councillors are among those invited to attend.
One local said: “We stood for two hours in a quiet protest on Wednesday. We are not interested in causing trouble, we simply want our concerns addressed and we hope our presence was enough to make our feelings clear to certain people.
“We are not prepared to put up with these type of people living in the area, particularly when we have two primary schools in the area.
“The public meeting has been arranged to allow locals to hopefully make their concerns known to the various agencies concerned.”
A Central Scotland Police spokesperson would not confirm or deny whether the community’s belief that a paedophile was living in the area was correct.
They added: “CSP will not comment on specific cases or individuals.
“The management of sex offenders in the community is a particularly sensitive and complex area of work which involves the police and a number of other key agencies operating under MAPPA (Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangement) guidelines.
“Public safety is always the main priority in all cases.
“Whilst it remains the main priority, a balance is required between public safety and the right of the individual.
“All aspects of cases are carefully considered at every stage of the process, from psychological and risk assessments to places of residence and potential security issues.
“A number of measures can be put in place to manage offenders in the community and these are monitored by dedicated staff, including police officers, on a multi-agency basis.”
An Observer reporter and photographer joined the villagers on Thursday evening. Read full report in Wednesday's Stirling Observer