Disgust in Hawick after quiet Scottish town stars in GTA V


SCOTS computer game makers have caused fury in the quiet community of Hawick by using the town’s name in Grand Theft Auto V.

The smash hit video game features sex, drugs and violence in the fictional US megatropolis of Los Santos, a thinly-disguised Los Angeles.

Game makers Rockstar North have called one of the city’s “druggie hipster” districts Hawick after the peaceful, mill town of 15,000 souls about 40 miles south of their Edinburgh HQ.

One Hawick councillor yesterday branded the use of the town’s name in GTA V as “disgusting”.

It's Hawick, but not as we know it. Rockstar North created a community with a "drug addict hipster vibe" and named it after the Scottish Borders town
It’s Hawick, but not as we know it. Rockstar North created a community with a “drug addict hipster vibe” and named it after the Scottish Borders town


Rockstar North are known for slyly working Scottish references into the GTA franchise and the latest version also features a Saltire flying proudly over the fictional, sun-kissed beach community of Vespucci beach.

It has already been revealed that the stock exchange referred to in the game goes by the colourful name BAWSAQ.

Hawick – pronounced “hoick” – is located in the North East of Los Santos in the in-game map.

The real town is not known as a crime hotspot with local police currently most concerned about moped use by youngsters.

But in GTA V, the wide streets of Hawick are the scene of gun battles and high-speed car chases with prostitution and drug-dealing thrown in for good measure.

The Rockstar website says the Los Santos version of Hawick has “a disaffected drug addict hipster vibe.”

But Hawick councillor David Paterson said he was “horrified” that Rockstar North would put Hawick into such a violent game.

The real thing: police in Hawick are currently most concerned about moped use by local kids
The real thing: police in Hawick are currently most concerned about moped use by local kids

Mr Paterson said: “I am horrified that they have put Hawick in a game like that.

“Hawick is a lovely place and to see them do that is ridiculous. I’m totally disgusted.

“I’ve never even seen a gun in my life.”

But Joanne Maybury, 49, a remedial massage therapist from Hawick was more laid back.

She said: “It’s a fairly quiet, ‘doesn’t rock the boat’ kind of town.

“It’s a shame if people thought of it like that but will anyone take it seriously?

The cheeky chaps at Rock Star North smuggled a Saltire into this Los Santos beach scene
The cheeky chaps at Rock Star North smuggled a Saltire into this Los Santos beach scene


“I guess there are druggies and hipsters here but it’s not what would characterise Hawick for me.”

The game also features a barber’s called “Hair on Hawick” where players can change their characters’ haircuts between dozens of different styles.

The town is most famous for its Common Riding festival, which dates back hundreds of years and involves groups of horse riders parading through the streets.

The riding caused nationwide controversy in 1996 when a group of women successfully challenged in court the ban on females taking part.

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  1. I would respectfully suggest Hawick is full of junkies and is in fact a complete pit. Local resident said “How dare they portray our market town this way”. Market town???? Having a poundland does not make you a market town…

    • We don’t have a Poundland, but we do have a Saturday Market. The old cattle market closed about 25 years ago, to be replaced by what is now Morrisons. Nice to see Davie Paterson getting excited about something, other than what dumb colour a shop front is. But with our nice shop-jacketed, empty shops, Hawick is slowly being made into a fictional town, in real life.

  2. there are a lot worse things then mopeds!

    also this isn’t a market town with half of the shops shut down and no jobs for the school leaves!

    and Hawick is not quiet!

  3. Lets be honest Hawick is a complete dive and the councillors live in a world of their own. This can only be good publicity. Any other town would be over the moon but not Hawick as they still think its 1514

  4. Come on now, as a Hawick resident, I have no issue with the name of our town being used, I actually think its been taken way out of context, and a National news story? I don’t think so. All I’ve seen from other residents is glee at being part of our namesake in the game and I’ll bet the “local councillors” quoted haven’t even heard of the game, much less voiced disgust at it. There’ll be some other pressing concern to worry about in this town by lunch time no doubt. Until then, enjoy the fact the whole of the UK will be having a laugh at our “disgusted” expense…

  5. It’s a game for god sake. There is much more important issues in Hawick to worry about such as jobs for the young people in Hawick and the state of the high street with all the shops closing down. The councilors should get there priority right

  6. Hawick is a complete dump that is the butt of many jokes for other Borders residents and this “outrage” is just more fuel on the fire haha

  7. I lived in Hawick for two years, it was hell, a drugie hipster district, well druggie and district but not hipster at all. Has anyone seen what it is like in Burnfoot!

  8. The usual “outraged” and “disgusted” comments that we’re used to after the release of every action game, invariably coming from people who have never played the game in question, in many cases probably not any other video game either.

    Besides, it’s a reference in name only, how thick does one have to be to consider a fictional district in a fictional version of Los Angeles an offensive commentary on the real Hawick? This is equivalent to the “offended” responses from my hometown’s tourism board, when a TV crime drama that took place here dared show a murder taking place! Really, the only thing that gets negative publicity from these stories are the people making such ignorant statements.

  9. Hawick which means to vomit is a desolate hole where 13 yr olds learn to darkness themselves into oblivion. Whilst the police may be concerned about youth on mopeds the local papers continually report on drunkenness, domestic violence and assault with heroin dealing thrown in

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