DUMBARTON has been labelled a problem area for criminals with electronic tags amid claims that poor signals in parts of the town falsely suggest offenders are out of their homes during curfew hours.

Lawyer Douglas McAllister made the claim at the town’s sheriff court while defending a town resident who was handed a ‘restriction of liberty’ order’ which is monitored by electronic equipment.

Mr McAllister said that 28-year-old Lannigan, of Hawthornhill Road, accepted breaching the order – but only to a limited extent.

Mr McAllister told the court: “Myself and the procurator fiscal depute had the opportunity to discuss the breach report with an officer from G4S [who monitor electronically-tagged offenders in the area].

“The breach is admitted by Mr Lannigan insofar as he did not answer the phone on the night of May 4-5.

“When he appeared from custody it was his position that the equipment was defective.

“There was some scepticism about that, but the G4S officer confirmed that where the accused lives has a very, very poor signal.

“The equipment wasn’t sending a signal back to G4S, and it became a running joke in the G4S office over who was going to go and pay Mr Lannigan a visit.

“He tells me it is a problem in the Dumbarton area.

“Mr Lannigan is not flawless here; there are two time infringements, for which he was given a warning letter, but he says officers told him they could see he was in.”

Sheriff Maxwell Hendry made no further order in respect of the breach, and allowed the community payback order of which it is a part to remain in place.