Increased numbers of police officers will be available to tackle incidences of anti-social behaviour, disorder and violence in West Dunbartonshire over the coming months thanks to a new summer safety taskforce.

The approach is part of a multi-faceted summer safety campaign which will run until the end of August and will see cops take a different and more flexible approach towards addressing the problems associated with the warmer months.

In a bid to learn lessons from last year’s issues, police officers have been pooled from existing community policing structures within area command to create the taskforce, which will see officers redeployed to where they are needed, with greater access to police vehicles and more officers on duty at key times.

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Area Commander, Chief Inspector Scott Carlin, explained: “We want people to enjoy themselves, but we must create a safe environment for that.

“Increased visitor numbers and call volume are the drivers. Alongside that we have an increasing crime trend of violence in terms of common and serious assaults.

“The call demand spreads resources thin as does this increasing trend towards violence.

“What we learned last year is we had some disorder hotspots where people were gathering in larger numbers and we did not always have the resources to effectively deal with that.

“For the summer safety taskforce, we have pooled resources from other places to augment the existing police structure. We will have three teams, with enhanced numbers, working seven days a week.

“We have taken officers from the local policing team and divisional support team and increased the numbers on the shift pattern for the taskforce.

"The Task Force will use a problem-solving policing approach to target violent offenders, antisocial behaviour and disorder hotspots."

The disorder hotspots identified are St James Retail Park, Bowling Harbour, Balloch Park and Balloch in general, the Dalmuir area and Dalmuir Park and Cochno and the Jaw Reservoir.

Engaging with young people is another major aspect of the campaign, and youth engagement officers have been visiting schools to spread the message that alcohol increases vulnerability.

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