ANOTHER weekend of drunken disorder in Balloch Park – and another serious injury – has sparked renewed calls from fed-up residents and politicians for more to be done to tackle anti-social behaviour in the area.

A “large scale disturbance” in the park on Saturday afternoon saw a 19-year-old man rushed to hospital with a severe head injury.

The incident came just weeks after a 16-year-old boy was left with serious arm and head injuries in a separate incident in the park.

Saturday afternoon’s disturbance happened despite an increased police presence in the area – and a pledge from local officers that they will take “a robust approach” to anti-social behaviour.

Last week the Reporter told of increasing frustration among local residents at the “hordes” of visitors coming to the park to make the most of the warm summer weather – but whose behaviour is making the park a “no go zone” for people in the area.

The Reporter understands that more than 1,000 people were put on to trains by police on Saturday alone.

Local MSP Jackie Baillie said: “Groups from as far afield as Glasgow are congregating in Balloch Park, drinking and causing disorder, which spoils the enjoyment of the park for everyone else.

“There needs to be concerted action to stop them coming in the first place, if they are intent on creating mayhem, and the alcohol they bring with them should be confiscated.

"It is also essential that more police resources from outwith the area are deployed here.”

Commenting on the Reporter’s Facebook page, local resident Caroline Crossan said: “There was a larger police presence. There were police at the station too.

“It’s the sheer volume of visitors - it’s too much to cope with.

"The sun, the alcohol, lots of vulnerable young people not looking well by the end of the day and the inevitable aggro.

“Saturday was mental. A no go zone.”

And Nic Kane added: “More needs done on trains and at stations as groups of kids are running riot.

"We don’t go near Balloch in summer because of this.”

Local councillor Sally Page, writing for the Reporter before Saturday’s incident, said: “It would be good to see Balloch Country Park become more family friendly and therefore less attractive to drinkers.

“Facilities for people to enjoy a drink and more toilets would be an improvement.”

Appealing for the public’s help in tracing those behind Saturday’s incident, Detective Constable Geoff McKillop said: “There were hundreds of people within the park at the time.

“I am looking for anyone who witnessed the disturbance, and anybody that took videos or photos within the park at that time, to get in touch by calling 101, quoting incident reference number 2454 of July 17.”

Chief Inspector Coleen Wylie, local area commander, said: “There will be an increased police presence in the park and surrounding area, and we continue to work with our partners in British Transport Police and West Dunbartonshire Council to reassure the public and encourage everyone to behave responsibly.

“Officers will take a robust approach to anti-social behaviour and I would remind the public that drinking in public places is not permitted.”

“We ask everyone to enjoy themselves responsibly and to report any concerns by calling police on 101.”